Writers Read Author Series 2013-14

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 19, 2013 … Frank X Walker … 8:30 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium, $5 received at the door (free admision for students with EMU ID)

Multidisciplinary artist Frank X Walker is a native of Danville, Ky., a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and completed an MFA in Writing at Spalding University in May 2003. Walker’s latest work is a collection of poems, Isaac Murphy: I Dedicate This Ride. As founder of the Affrilachian Poets, Walker is editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. He is the editor of America! What’s My Name? The “Other” Poets Unfurl the Flag (Wind Publications, 2007) and Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium and the author of four poetry collections: When Winter Come: the Ascension of York (University Press of Kentucky, 2008); Black Box (Old Cove Press, 2005); Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York (University Press of Kentucky, 2003), winner of the 35th Annual Lillian Smith Book Award; and Affrilachia (Old Cove Press, 2000), a Kentucky Public Librarians’ Choice Award nominee. A Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith Fellowship recipient, Walker’s poems have been converted into a stage production by the University of Kentucky Theatre department and widely anthologized in numerous collections; including The Appalachian Journal, Limestone, Roundtable, My Brothers Keeper, Spirit and Flame: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art.

November 14, 2013 … Jessica Penner … 6:30 p.m. in Common Grounds, donation

Jessica Penner’s debut novel-in-stories, Shaken in the Water, was released by Foxhead Books this spring. Canadian Mennonite author Rudy Wiebe writes about the novel: “The reality of the world Jessica Penner creates in Shaken in the Water is never quite what it appears to be: love can so swiftly shift-shape into hatred, rage into compassion, understanding into rejection and longing. But for the reader there is always the Voice calling, ‘Herein!’ – ‘Come in!’” Penner has also been published in Bellevue Literary Review, Center for Mennonite Writing, Rhubarb, and the anthology Tongue Screws and Testimonies. She won an honorable mention for the short story, “Homebody,” in Open City’s RRofihe Trophy contest and an honorable mention for the essay, “Mustard Seed,” in Bellevue Literary Review’s Burns Archive Prize for Nonfiction. “Mustard Seed” was later nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Penner earned a BA at EMU and a MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Currently she teaches English to international students at James Madison University.

February 10, 2014 … Jim Minick … 6:30 p.m. in Common Grounds, donation

Jim Minick is the author of The Blueberry Years, A Memoir of Farm and Family, and winner of the SIBA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award. Minick has also written a collection of essays, Finding a Clear Path, two books of poetry, Her Secret Song and Burning Heaven, and he edited All There Is to Keep by Rita Riddle. In 2008, the Virginia College Bookstore Association awarded Burning Heaven the Jefferson Cup for best book of the year. Minick has won grants, awards, and honors from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association, Southern Environmental Law Center, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Virginia Commission for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Appalachian Writers Association, Appalachian Heritage, Now and Then Magazine, and Radford University, where he teaches writing and literature.

March 13, 2014 … Sorayya Khan … 6:30 p.m. in Common Grounds, donation

Sorayya Khan is the author of two novels, Noor (2003) and Five Queen’s Road (2009). She was awarded a US Fulbright Research Grant to conduct research in Pakistan and Bangladesh for one of her novels and was awarded a Malahat Review Novella prize for a piece that was the starting point for her novel-in-progress. A few years ago, she received a Constance Saltonstall Artist Grant, which took her to Banda Aceh, Indonesia after the tsunami where she interviewed survivors. Over the years, she has been published in various literary quarterlies, including The Kenyon Review and North American Review, and several anthologies.

Sign language available upon request.

2013-14 brings a new format to our Writers Read Author Series.

The opening event in September will be held in Lehman auditorium at 8:30 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…