Visiting Writers Announces Spring Series

Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall University Visiting Writers Series has announced its spring schedule of author appearances. Series coordinator Prof. Art Stringer said noted poets and prose-writers from around the region will be reading from “exciting” new work. He said this spring’s events “highlight the power of stories and will offer a rich variety of voices.”

Fiction writer Donald Ray Pollock will read at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus.  His first book of short stories, Knockemstiff, won the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship.  His work has appeared in The New York Times, Third Coast, The Journal, Sou’wester, River Styx, Boulevard, Folio, Granta, Washington Square and The Berkeley Fiction Review.

The Devil All the Time is his recently released first novel, praised in reviews by The New York Times, The Washington Post, the LA Times, and others.  He works and teaches in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Distinguished writer Jayne Anne Phillips will read from her work at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre on the Huntington campus.  Her talk on craft and the writing life will be held earlier that day at 3:30 pm in the Shawkey Room. She is the author of eight books, most recently the National Book Award Finalist, Lark and Termite.

Phillips was born and raised in West Virginia. Her first story collection, Black Tickets, was lauded by Raymond Carver as a collection of “stories unlike any in our literature.”  Nadine Gordimer has called her “the best short story writer since Eudora Welty.”  Phillips’ first novel, Machine Dreams, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 12 Best Books of the Year.

Phillips’ works have been translated and published in 12 languages.  She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships.  Her work has appeared most recently in Harper’s, Granta, Doubletake and the Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction.  She has taught at Harvard University, Williams College and Boston University, and is currently Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Poet Kathryn Kirkpatrick will read at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 5 in the Shawkey Room.  She is the author of four collections of poems, most recently Unaccountable Weather.  She is also the editor of Border Crossings: Irish Women Writers and National Identities (University of Alabama Press, 2000). Her poems have appeared widely in such journals as Calyx, Carolina Quarterly, Cortland Review, Epoch, The Florida Review, The Hollins Critic, Kalliope, Shenandoah, The South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, Sundog and other magazines.  She teaches at Appalachian State University.

Visiting Writers Series readings are free and open to the public.  The series is supported by the Marshall English Department, the College of Liberal Arts and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

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