Writers Read Author Series 2014-15

Writers Read, sponsored by the language and literature department, is a special event featuring authors who read from and comment on their work. Dates, times, costs and locations are indicated below. (Map of EMU campusLehman Auditorium, Common Grounds)

September 24, 2014Evie Shockley… 8:00 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium, $5 received at the door (free admission for students with student ID)

Evie ShockleyIn one of the poems from her collection the new black Evie Shockley writes;
“i’ve never forgotten the charred bitter fruit of holiday’s poplars, nor will i :
it’s part of what makes me evie : i grew up in the shadow of southern trees,”

The power of home and place to shape who we are is one theme in Shockley’s work, a southern poet teaching in New Jersey. She is associate professor of English at Rutgers University (NJ) where she specializes in African American and African diaspora literature, especially poetry. She has authored a scholarly study of Black aesthetics entitled Renegade Poetics.

She has also published four collections of poetry: The Gorgon Goddess and a half-red sea were published by Carolina Wren Press in 2001 and 2006; 31 words * prose poems appeared in 2007 (Belladonna Books). Her most recent collection the new black (Wesleyan University Press, 2011) received the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry.

Shockley received the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize. She was awarded a residency at the Hedgebrook Retreat for Women Writers in 2003. Two of her poems were displayed in the Biko 30/30 exhibit, a commemoration of the life and work of anti-apartheid activist Steven Biko, which toured South Africa in 2007.

November 6, 2014 … Chris Bolgiano… 6:30 p.m. in Common Grounds, donation

Chris BolgianoChris Bolgiano styles herself as a “mildly amusing nature writer.” Not born in Appalachia, she has made it her mission to become native to Appalachia by loving the mountains she has made her home. Much of her writing arises from this affection.

Among her six books (including two edited works), are Mighty Giants: An American Chestnut Anthology (2007) which won the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award, Silver, for Best Regional Non-Fiction and Living in the Appalachian Forest: True Tales of Sustainable Forestry (2002) winner of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment and the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association’s Excellence in Craft Contest Her most recent book is Southern Appalachian Celebration: In Praise of Ancient Mountains, Old-Growth Forests, and Wilderness published by University of North Carolina Press in 2011.

In addition to her books, she has also written innumerable nature and travel articles for The New York Times, Washington Post, American Forests, Sierra, Audubon, and many other publications.

Bolgiano is faculty emeritus at James at Madison University in Harrisonburg and lives in Fulks Run, VA.

Note: Mighty Giants and Southern Appalachian Celebration will be available for purchase beginning Oct.27 at the language and literature department office (Roselawn 235) and for signing at the event.

February 5, 2015 … Mark Bauerlein… 6:30 p.m. in Strite Conference Room
(Campus Center 105), donation

In his 2008 book The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes our Future (or Don’t Trust Anyone under 30) Dr. Mark Bauerlein argues that despite unprecedented access to knowledge and information, the latest generation of Americans appears to be “no more learned or skilled than their predecessors, no more knowledgable, fluent, up-to-date or inquisitive, except in the materials of youth culture.”

Bauerlein is professor of English at Emory University and has taught there since 1989, with a two-and-a-half year break in 2003-05 to serve as the Director of the Office of Research and Analysis, at the National Endowment for the Arts. He has published numerous scholarly works, including a highly acclaimed account of a 1906 race riot in Atlanta (Negrophobia). In addition, his work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post, TLS, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, where his blog eloquently promotes the humanities. A recent essay (2012) in First Things narrates his turn from atheism to Catholicism.

In addition to his Writers Read presentation, Bauerlein will speak in chapel on Feb.6 and dialogue with faculty and students in varied settings on the importance and value of the humanities.

March 12, 2015 … Vic Sizemore … 6:30 p.m. in Common Grounds, donation

Vic SizemoreVic Sizemore is a writer of short fiction and novels in which characters wrestle with what it means for them to be Christians in all the human messiness of life. He is also a prolific essayist, contributing frequently to the evangelical channel of Patheos.com.

Sizemore earned his MFA in fiction from Seattle Pacific University. His short stories are published or forthcoming in StoryQuarterly, Southern Humanities Review, Connecticut Review, Portland Review, Blue Mesa Review, Sou’wester, Silk Road Review, Atticus Review, PANK Magazine Fiction Fix, Vol.1 Brooklyn, and Conclave. Excerpts from his novel The Calling are published in Connecticut Review, Portland Review, Prick of the Spindle, Burrow Press Review, Rock & Sling, and Relief. His fiction has won the New Millennium Writings Award for Fiction, and been nominated for Best American Nonrequired Reading and a Pushcart Prize. Some of his short stories and chapters from The Calling are available on his blog.

Sizemore teaches at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg, VA.

Sign language available upon request.

The opening event in September will be held in Lehman auditorium at 8:00 p.m.
Students with EMU ID admitted free; others $5.

The remaining three events will be held in Common Grounds at 6:30 p.m.
Light refreshment available. Donations accepted.

See past Writers Read events…