2016-2017 Visiting Writers Schedule
(* indicates part of the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series)
All events are open to public EXCEPT the Richard Ford craft classes
*Sandra Meek on Tuesday, September 20, will be giving a poetry reading at 7 p.m. in the Hannah/Ford Room. Sandra Meek is the author of five books of poems, Road Scatter (Persea Books, 2012) , Biogeography, winner of the Dorset Prize (Tupelo 2008), Burn (2005), and Nomadic Foundations (2002), and An Ecology of Elsewhere, is forthcoming from Persea Books May 2, 2016. She is also the editor of an anthology, Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad (Ninebark 2007), which was awarded a 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal. A recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the 2015 Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, she has twice been awarded Georgia Author of the Year, in 2006 for Burn, and in 2003 for Nomadic Foundations, which also was awarded the Peace Corps Writers Award in Poetry. Meek served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Manyana, Botswana, 1989-1991, where she taught English at Boswelakgosi Junior Secondary School. She is Co-founding Editor of Ninebark Press, Director of the Georgia Poetry Circuit, Poetry Editor of the Phi Kappa Phi Forum, and Dana Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.
The Conversation Literary Festival (The Bash: A reading) on Monday, October 17th, 7pm at Proud Larry’s. The Conversation will be a week-long tour of 3 states: Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. 17 writers from varying places in the spectrum of Blackness and various birth cities, come down to Oxford, Mississippi and continue with us as we move Southeast to Tuscaloosa, ending in New Orleans. This year the conversation will occur October 16th – 22nd.
Mary Swander in a performance of “Vang,” a play, 7:30 pm on October 25 at the Powerhouse. In 2009 Governor Chet Culver appointed Mary Swander the Poet Laureate of the State of Iowa. Her most recent book of poetry is The Girls on the Roof (Turning Point/Word Tech, 2009), a Mississippi River flood narrative. Swander has worked with the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre to create an performance piece of The Girls for the stage. Swander’s memoir, The Desert Pilgrim (Viking, 2003, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.) has just been re-issued by Ice Cube Press as has memoir called Out of this World (Viking, 1995) by the U. of Iowa Press. Swander is the author of three additional books of poetry, Heaven-and-Earth House (Alfred Knopf, 1994), Driving the Body Back (Alfred Knopf, 1986), Succession (University of Georgia Press, 1979), as well as a book of literary interviews, Parsnips in the Snow (with Jane Staw, University of Iowa Press, 1990). Ms. Swander has won numerous awards including an Iowa Author’s Award (2006), a Whiting Award (The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, 1994), a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts (1986), two Ingram Merrill Awards (1980, 1986) , the Carl Sandburg Literary Award (The Chicago Public Library, 1981), and the Nation-Discovery Award (The Nation magazine, 1976) . Publisher’s Weekly named Parsnips in the Snow one of the best books of 1990, and the Garden Writers Association of America awarded Swander their Quill and Trowel Award for best magazine writing of 1993.
*Tyehimba Jess will be giving a poetry reading/ performance on Thursday, November 3rd, at 7 pm in Bishop 209. Detroit native Tyehimba Jess’ first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Olio, his second collection, was published by Wave Books in April 2016. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU alumnus, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000 – 2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island. Jess’ fiction and poetry have appeared in anthologies such as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Beyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago’s Guild Complex, Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry. His poetry has appeared in journals such as American Poetry Review, Brilliant Corners, Ploughshares, Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora, Warpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas, Mosaic, American Poetry Review, Indiana Review, Nashville Review and 580 Split.