ASU Spring Visiting Writers Series opens Feb. 18
Novelists, poets and a short story writer fill out the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series for spring semester at Appalachian State University.
Short story writer Amy Knox Brown opens the spring series Feb. 18 with the craft talk "The Perils and Pleasures of the Short-short Story" at 2 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union's Table Rock Room. She will read from her work beginning at 7:30 p.m., also in the Table Rock Room.
Brown is an assistant professor of creative writing and director of the Center for Women Writers at Salem College in Winston-Salem. She holds a Ph.D. in English/creative writing from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, a J.D. from Nebraska's College of Law, and an MFA from N.C. State University.
An award-winning writer, she is the author of a short-story collection, "Three Versions of the Truth," and a chapbook of poetry, "Advice from Household Gods."
Novelist Ted Wojtasik presents the craft talk "Transformed Autobiography" Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union's Linville Falls Room followed by a reading at 7:30 p.m., both in the student union's Table Rock Room.
Wojtasik is a visiting professor of English and creative writing at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg. He is the author of the novels "No Strange Fire" and "Collage."
Wojtasik is the chair of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series 2009-2010, which is a competition among middle school, high school, college/university and adult poets in North Carolina for an opportunity to work with an established poet. He was the final judge for the John Foster West and Marian Coe Creative Writing Scholarship Competition at Appalachian in 2008.
Novelist Jess Walter visits campus March 25 for a 3:30 p.m. craft talk titled "The Shape of the Thing: Finding Structure in Voice" in Plemmons Student Union's Price Lake Room, followed by a 7:30 p.m. reading in the student union's Table Rock Room.
Walter is the author of five novels, the most recent of which is "The Financial Lives of the Poets," which was released in September 2009. He also wrote "Ruby Ridge" about the lengthy confrontation in Northern Idaho between white separatist Randy Weaver and federal agents. The book was originally published as "Every Knee Shall Bow" and was made into a 1996 CBS miniseries.
Poet Shelby Stephenson presents the Juanita Tobin Memorial Reading April 1. The program is in memory of Tobin, a poet and longtime resident of Blowing Rock.
Stephenson will present the craft talk "The Craft and the Poem" at 2 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union's Table Rock Room. He will read from his works beginning at 7:30 p.m., also in the Table Rock Room.
Stephenson is a professor of English at UNC-Pembroke where he has edited Pembroke Magazine since 1979.
In addition to the poetic narrative "Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl," he has published the chapbook "Possum," the lyric poems "Fiddledeedee" and "Middle Creek Poems."
Fiction writer Rita Criesi presents the craft talk "Choosing the Right MFA Program" April 15 at 2 p.m. in room 421 Belk Library and Information Commons, and a reading at 7:30 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union's Table Rock Room.
Ciresi's first collection of short stories, "Mother Rocket," won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her first novel, "Blue Italian," was selected by Barnes and Noble as part of its "Discover New Writers Series." Ciresi's second novel, "Pink Slip," received the 1997 Pirate's Alley Faulkner Prize for the Novel. The book's sequel is "Remind Me Again Why I Married You."
Ciresi teaches fiction and nonfiction writing and is the director of the creative writing program at the University of South Florida.
All presentations are free and open to the public. Books will be available for sales and signing.
Parking is available after 5 p.m. on campus. Parking nearest Plemmons Student Union is located in the College Street parking deck next to Belk Library and Information Commons.
The Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation; Appalachian's offices of Academic Affairs, Multicultural Student Development, and Cultural Affairs; the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, University College, The Center for Appalachian Studies, the Writing Across the Curriculum program, the Sustainable Development Program, the Summer Reading Program, the University Bookstore, and The Appalachian Journal.
Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Restaurant. Community sponsors include John and Marjorie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin, Mildred Luckhardt and The High Country Writers.
The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank, Class of 1968, a trustee and supporter of Appalachian State University.