Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Noted poets and prose writers will read from their work on Marshall University’s Huntington campus in this spring’s MU Visiting Writers Series, which culminates in April with a Centennial Celebration of the work of former West Virginia Poet Laureate Louise McNeill.

Art Stringer, professor of English, announced the series’ spring schedule of author appearances today. It includes:

· Poets Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars appearing at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7 in the Memorial Student Center’s Shawkey Room. A native of Ireland, Higgins is the author of three collections, most recently Frightening New Furniture from Salmon Poetry. He is co-organizer of Over The Edge literary events in Galway, Ireland and teaches at Galway Technical Institute.  DuMars is the author of the new collection of poems Big Pink Umbrella. She also has received an Irish Arts Council Bursary for her fiction.

· Anthony “Tony” Grooms reading at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 in Room BE-5 in the basement of the student center. Grooms is the award-winning author of the well-known novel, Bombingham, which is set during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. His stories and poems have been published in Callaloo, African American Review, Crab Orchard Review, George Washington Review, and other literary journals.  He is the recipient of the Lillian Smith Prize for Fiction and has held a Lamar lectureship from Wesleyan College.  He currently teaches creative writing and literature at Kennesaw State University outside of Atlanta.

· Writers Philip St. Clair and Andrea Fekete reading from their work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 in the Shawkey Room. St. Clair is the author of four books, including Acid Creek.  He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kentucky Arts Council, and he served for many years as Chair of the Humanities Division at Ashland Community College in Kentucky.  Fekete, a poet and writer from Logan County, West Virginia and a graduate of Marshall, is the author of a new novel, Waters Run Wild from Sweetgum Press.

· To mark the centennial of McNeill’s birth, poets and scholars from around the region including Devon McNamara, Mark DeFoe, Chris Green, and Marianne Worthington will gather in the Shawkey Room at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 4 to read her work. A discussion of her work and its impact on Appalachian writing will take place at 3:30 p.m. Until her death in 1993, McNeill had served as West Virginia Poet Laureate for 16 years.  Her work was widely published in national magazines such as Atlantic Monthly and Saturday Review during her lifetime.  Hill Daughter, her selected poems, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1991, and her poems continue to be anthologized and to influence young writers.

All events are free and open to the public.  The Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Marshall English Department, the College of Liberal Arts, the Office of the Provost, the Division of Multicultural Affairs, and the law firm of Jenkins-Fenstermaker.

For more information, contact Stringer in Marshall’s English Department at 304-696-2403.