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September 12, 2002

Contemporary writers series to begin

The fifth season of the English department writing program's Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series will include an evening series of poetry readings and presentations by a novelist and two essayists, as well as two afternoon panel discussions.

The season will open Sept. 19 with a reading by poet Campbell McGrath, a MacArthur Genius Award recipient.

All events are free and open to the public.

McGrath is the author of five collections of poetry: "Capitalism" (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), "American Noise" (Ecco Press, 1993), "Spring Comes to Chicago" (Ecco Press, 1996), "Road Atlas" (Ecco Press, 1999) and "Florida Poems" (Ecco Press, 2002). His awards, in addition to the MacArthur, include the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Cohen Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Witter-Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress. McGrath teaches creative writing at Florida International University.

A list of the evening readings and afternoon dialogues follows:

* Sept. 19: Campbell McGrath, poet; 8:30 p.m. Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

* Oct. 9: Debra Magpie Earling, novelist; 8:30 p.m. Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

Author of the novel "Perma Red" (Bluehen Books, June 2002), Earling is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation.

* Oct. 23: Jo Ann Beard, essayist; 8:30 p.m. Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

Beard, recipient of the Whiting Foundation Award, is the author of "Boys of My Youth" (Little, Brown & Company, 1999), a widely praised collection of autobiographical essays.

* Nov. 6: "Editors to Writers: A Dialogue About Creative Nonfiction," a panel discussion featuring editors from Esquire, Real Simple and other periodicals; 3 p.m., 501 CL.

* Feb. 3: Terry Tempest Williams, essayist, 8:30 p.m. Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

The 2001 William Block Sr. Writer, Williams's most recent book is "Red: Patience and Passion in the Desert" (Pantheon, 2001). She is an essayist and environmental activist.

* March 13: "Remaking Contemporary American Poetry," award-winning poets D.A. Powell, Larissa Szporluk and Kevin Young; 3 p.m., 501 CL.

Powell, author of "Tea" (1998) and "Lunch" (2000), both from Wesleyan University Press, has won awards from the Academy of American Poets and the James Michener Foundation.

Szporluk is author of "Dark Sky Question" (Beacon Press, 1998), winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize, and "Isolato" (University of Iowa Press, 2000), winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize.

Young is author of "Most Way Home" (William Morrow, 1995), which was selected for the National Poetry Series.

* March 13: Poetry reading by Powell, Szporluk and Young; 8:30 p.m. Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

* April 3, Chang-Rae Lee, novelist, 8:30 p.m. Frick Fine Arts auditorium.

Author of two novels, "Native Speaker" and "A Gesture Life," Lee has won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the American Book Award.

The writers series is co-sponsored by the Asian studies program, The Book Center and the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 35 Issue 2

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