Writers in the Library: David James Poissant, Nov. 17

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poissantDavid James Poissant will read from his highly acclaimed short story collection, The Heaven of Animals, at UT’s Writers in the Library on Monday, November 17, at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The reading is free and open to the public. Prior to the reading, at 3 p.m., he will be available for a Q&A session for UT students and faculty in the Practice Presentation Room, 220 E in Hodges Library Commons North.

The Heaven of Animals was named one of the most anticipated books of 2014 by The Millions. In a starred review, Kirkus describes Poissant’s stories as “Rueful and kind, akin to both Anton Chekhov and Raymond Carver in humane spirit and technical mastery.” Rebecca Lee of The New York Times Book Review touts the collection as “A wise debut . . . Beautiful, with a rogue touch,” and Karen Russell says of his writing, “Like Flannery O’Connor, Poissant’s stories are marked by violence, humor, and grace; like Saunders, he can spoon-bend reality; like Carver and Diaz, he writes scenes soaked in kerosene and seconds from combustion.”

David James Poissant’s stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, Glimmer Train, The New York Times, One Story, Playboy, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and in the New Stories from the South and Best New American Voices anthologies. His writing has been awarded the Matt Clark Prize, the George Garrett Fiction Award, the RopeWalk Fiction Chapbook Prize, and the Alice White Reeves Memorial Award from the National Society of Arts & Letters, as well as awards from The Chicago Tribune and The Atlantic and Playboy magazines.

David James Poissant teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando with his wife and daughters.

Read an excellent review of The Heaven of Animals at Chapter 16: a community of Tennessee writers, readers and passersby (brought to you by Humanities Tennessee).
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Writers in the Library is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (mkallet@nullutk.edu), or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (chebert3@nullutk.edu).

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Keith Flynn and Joyce Jenkins at “Writers in the Library,” Oct. 27

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FlynnJenkinsPoets Keith Flynn and Joyce Jenkins will read from their works at the University of Tennessee’s Writers in the Library on Monday, October 27, at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The reading is free and open to the public.

Keith Flynn is the founder and editor of The Asheville Poetry Review, as well as the author of seven books, including five collections of poetry, most recently Colony Collapse Disorder (Wings Press, 2013). His essays on poetry are collected in The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How To Make Your Poetry Swing (Writer’s Digest Books, 2007). From 1984 to 1999, he was lyricist and lead singer for The Crystal Zoo; currently he tours with a combo, The Holy Men. He has been awarded the Sandburg Prize for poetry, the ASCAP Emerging Songwriter Prize, the Paumanok Poetry Award, and the 2013 NC Literary Fellowship, and was twice named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for North Carolina.

Joyce Jenkins is editor and Executive Director of Poetry Flash, California’s iconic online Literary Review and Calendar for the West (poetryflash.org), founded in 1972. Joyce began working with the magazine in 1978. Poetry Flash presents the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, Northern California Book Awards, and Poetry Flash Reading Series. She is the author of Portal, a chapbook with an introduction by Carolyn Kizer, and Joy Road, and has read her poetry in the Bay Area and across the country. She received the AAUW Ruth Murray Jones Publishing Award in 1991, American Book Award in 1994, National Poetry Association’s 1995 Award for Distinguished Service, and the 2006 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement. On behalf of Poetry Flash, she received Litquake’s 2012 Barbary Coast Award. June 6, 2009 was named “Joyce Jenkins Day” by the City of Berkeley in honor of the Berkeley Poetry Festival lifetime achievement award.

At noon, the same day, Katherine Ann Davis, editor of UT’s Grist: The Journal for Writers, will join Flynn and Jenkins for an Editors’ Roundtable at 1210-1211 McClung Tower. They will discuss what editors are looking for when they read submissions — a great networking opportunity for writers who are trying to get published. Refreshments will be served.

Writers in the Library hosts readings by noted authors of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. Visit lib.utk.edu/writers for a schedule of readings for the 2014-2015 academic year.
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For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (mkallet@nullutk.edu), or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (chebert3@nullutk.edu).

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National Book Award nominee Elizabeth McCracken to read October 22

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McCrackenElizabeth McCracken will read from her latest short story collection, Thunderstruck & Other Stories, at the University of Tennessee’s Writers in the Library on Wednesday, October 22, at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The reading is free and open to the public.

McCracken is the author of five books, most recently Thunderstruck, currently on the long list for the 2014 National Book Award in fiction. Her other books include National Book Award finalist The Giant’s House and New York Times Book Review Notable Books An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination and Niagara Falls All Over Again. McCracken is currently James A. Michener Chair of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin.

Thunderstruck is a collection of nine stories featuring a variety of eclectic characters, including a girl ghost, the human musical saw, and two three-legged dogs, among others. Publishers Weekly heralded the work as “mesmerizing and strange,” and commented that McCracken “transforms life’s dead ends into transformational visions.”

In addition to the reading, the author will participate in a Q&A discussion about her work at 3 p.m. in 1210 McClung Tower on October 22. The discussion is open to all UT students and faculty.

Writers in the Library hosts readings by noted authors of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund.

Christopher Hebert, the UT Libraries’ Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence, emcees Writers in the Library events. Hebert and Marilyn Kallet, director of the UT Creative Writing Program, have lined up an exceptional group of authors to read in the 2014–2015 academic year. Visit lib.utk.edu/writers for a complete schedule.
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For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (mkallet@nullutk.edu), or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (chebert3@nullutk.edu).

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Amy Billone at WRITERS IN THE LIBRARY, Sept. 29

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Billone_smallAmy Billone will read from her new poetry collection at UT’s Writers in the Library on Monday, September 29, at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The reading is free and open to the public.

Billone’s poetry collection, The Light Changes — named one of Kirkus Review‘s best books of 2013 — invokes the biographical and creative worlds of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sylvia Plath, and Virginia Woolf. Kirkus has called the book “thrilling in its courageousness, breathtaking in its vividness.” The Light Changes also won the IndieReader Discovery Award in Poetry in 2014.

Amy Billone is currently an associate professor of English at the University of Tennessee, where she teaches courses on 19th century literature, children’s and young adult literature, and world literature. Her areas of expertise include romanticism, children’s and young adult literature, Victorian poetry, gothic studies, creative writing, women writers, and continental poetry. Her scholarly book Little Songs: Women, Silence, and the Nineteenth-Century Sonnet (2007) is informed by her unique perspective as a woman poet. As the only extended study of 19th century female sonneteers, Little Songs sheds light on the overwhelming impact that silence makes, not only on British women’s poetry, but also on the development of modern poetry and thought. Amy Billone also wrote the introduction and notes for the Barnes and Noble Classics edition of Peter Pan (2005).
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Writers in the Library is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (mkallet@nullutk.edu), or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (chebert3@nullutk.edu).

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B.J. (Bob) Leggett leads off “Writers in the Library”

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BJLeggett_smallAuthor B.J. Leggett will give the first “Writers in the Library” reading of the 2014-15 academic year. Leggett will read from his latest novel, Prosperity, on Monday, September 15, at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The reading is free and open to the public.

Prosperity tells the story of police lieutenant Robert O’Brian, who takes early retirement after being shot in a drug raid and returns to his hometown of Prosperity in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee to work on a second novel. But O’Brian’s plans are unexpectedly disrupted when he becomes involved in the investigation of the death of a high school friend.

B.J. (Bob) Leggett is professor emeritus at UT Knoxville, where he held the title of Distinguished Professor of Humanities. He is the author of numerous studies of modern poetry and criticism, including books on A. E. Housman, Philip Larkin, and Wallace Stevens. Prosperity is his second novel. The first, Playing Out the String, was published by Livingston Press in 2004.

Writers in the Library hosts readings by noted authors of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Other authors scheduled to read this semester are, in order of appearance, Amy Billone, Elizabeth McCracken, Keith Flynn, Joyce Jenkins, and David James Poissant. For a schedule of upcoming readings and videos of past events, visit lib.utk.edu/writers.

The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. Writers in the Library events are emceed by the Libraries’ Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence, Christopher Hebert.




B.J. Leggett at Writers in the Library, September 15

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BJLeggett_smallB. J. Leggett will read from his latest novel, Prosperity, at the University of Tennessee’s Writers in the Library on Monday, September 15, at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The reading is free and open to the public.

Prosperity tells the story of police lieutenant Robert O’Brian, who takes early retirement after being shot in a drug raid and returns to his hometown of Prosperity in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee to work on a second novel. But O’Brian’s plans are unexpectedly disrupted when he becomes involved in the investigation of the death of a high school friend.

B. J. Leggett is professor emeritus at UT Knoxville, where he held the title of Distinguished Professor of Humanities. He is the author of numerous studies of modern poetry and criticism, including books on A. E. Housman, Philip Larkin, and Wallace Stevens. Prosperity is his second novel. The first, Playing Out the String, was published by Livingston Press in 2004.

Writers in the Library hosts readings by noted authors of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund.

Christopher Hebert, the UT Libraries’ Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence, emcees Writers in the Library events. Hebert and Marilyn Kallet, director of the UT Creative Writing Program, have lined up an exceptional group of authors to read in the 2014–2015 academic year. Visit lib.utk.edu/writers for a complete schedule.
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For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (mkallet@nullutk.edu), or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (chebert3@nullutk.edu).

Follow us at:
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Student Winners of Graduate Writing Awards to Read, April 14

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The University of Tennessee’s final Writers in the Library event of the academic year will feature readings by student winners of the John C. Hodges Graduate Writing Awards. Readings from the winning works will take place in the Hodges Library auditorium on Monday, April 14, at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Awards are made possible by the English Department through the John C. Hodges Better English Fund, endowed by the long-time UT English professor and author of the Harbrace College Handbook, for whom the Hodges Library also is named.

2014 winners of the John C. Hodges Graduate Writing Awards:

FICTION


First Prize: Genna Gazelka, for “As Chickadees Fall”
Second Prize: Michael Shou-Yung Shum, for “The Disappearance of Herman Grimes”
Third Prize: Katherine Ann Davis, “My Collector,” novel excerpt
Honorable Mention: Richard Hermes, “The Rubber Tapper’s Knife”

POETRY


First Prize: Jake Ward, for “Lucy Goes to the Hospital and never returns”
Second Prize: Ben McClendon, for “Habitat for Humanity” and other poems
Third Prize: Christian Anton Gerard, for “The Poet Thinking He’s Milton’s Adam,” and other poems

Honorable mentions:
Stephanie Dugger, for “Mid-August Meteor Shower, Vedauwoo, WY,” and other poems
Jonathan Brehm, for “I’m a Pigeon,” and other poems
Andrew Dillon, for “Viscosity” and other poems

First, second, and third place winners will read at the April 14 Writers in the Library event. Winners receive $500 for First Prize, $300 for Second Prize, and $100 for Third Prize in each category. This year’s judges were Dr. Martin Griffin for fiction and Dr. Kristi Maxwell for poetry.

The public is invited to join the university community for readings by these accomplished, up-and-coming writers.
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Writers in the Library is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (mkallet@nullutk.edu), or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (chebert3@nullutk.edu).

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Surrealist Symposium, April 4-7

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According to the painter Salvador Dalí, Surrealism sought to help us break free from the “shackles limiting our vision.” The spirit of this movement will be alive and well on the campus of the University of Tennessee this spring, through a Surrealist Symposium featuring world-class authors, scholars, translators, and poets, April 4–7.

The key day of the symposium is Monday, April 7, when a series of talks and readings on such topics as “Why Surrealism Matters” will be free and open to the public. Other events on Monday include a reception and book signing with authors and a Hodges Library display of rare surrealist works — along with a Dadaist field trip to UT’s well-loved Europa and the Bull fountain sculpture (that may or may not be a mock-academic hoax), and a surprise “reappearance” of the 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud. Note: Jackets and ties for men, hats for the women required for the field trip.

“Anyone with an interest in the wonderfully strange should attend,” said Marilyn Kallet, director of the Creative Writing Program at UT and organizer of the event. The event is sponsored by the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund, the UT Office of Research and Engagement, and the University Libraries.

Highlights of the Symposium include:

  • Talks by some of the world’s foremost experts on Surrealist literature and art, including Mary Ann Caws and Mark Polizzotti, publications director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and author of Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton
  • SurrealistSymposium

  • A Surrealist poetry reading featuring Marilyn Kallet, director of the UT Creative Writing Program, and Bill Zavatsky, former Guggenheim Fellow and translator of French poetry
  • A special display of Surrealist art and rare books
  • A three-day Surrealist Film Fest featuring a wide range of films, from pioneering short films, animated and hard-to-find foreign films, and contemporary classics
  • For a full schedule of events and list of participants, visit tiny.utk.edu/surrealist.




    Patrick O’Keeffe at Writers in the Library, March 31

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    Okeeffe_smallPatrick O’Keeffe will read from his new novel at UT’s Writers in the Library on Monday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in the John C. Hodges Library Auditorium. The reading is free and open to the public.

    The Visitors, O’Keeffe’s lyrical first novel, set in America and Ireland, moves back and forth in time and place to weave the story of two Irish families forever linked by love, secrets, and their heritage. Illuminating the precarious balance of family intimacies and how stories can carry over from one generation to the next, The Visitors further delivers on the elegant prose and plotting that earned O’Keeffe critical acclaim for The Hill Road, his collection of four, connected novellas set in a fictional Irish dairy farming village.

    O’Keeffe himself was born on an Irish dairy farm in County Limerick. He has lived in the US for over twenty years — at first as an undocumented immigrant, before gaining his Green Card. He received a BA in English at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

    He has taught at the University of Michigan, Colgate University, and the University of Cincinnati. He is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Ohio University.

    O’Keeffe’s work has appeared in the Irish Times, Doubletake, and the Michigan Quarterly Review.

    The Hill Road was a Barnes and Noble Discovery selection and received the Story Prize for 2005. O’Keeffe has also received a Whiting Award for fiction writing.

    Read a review of The Visitors at Chapter 16: a community of Tennessee writers, readers and passersby (brought to you by Humanities Tennessee).

    Patrick O’Keeffe’s reading was made possible by funding from UT’s Ready For The World international and intercultural initiative.
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    Writers in the Library is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (mkallet@nullutk.edu), or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (chebert3@nullutk.edu).

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    RB Morris to read poetry at Writers in the Library, March 3

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    rbmorrisRB Morris will read from his new poetry collection at UT’s Writers in the Library Monday, March 3rd at 7 pm in the John C. Hodges Library Auditorium. The reading is free and open to the public.

    RB Morris is a Knoxville-based poet, singer, songwriter, musician, playwright, and actor. He is the author of the poetry collections Early Fires, Littoral Zone, The Man Upstairs, and, most recently, The Mockingbird Poems. Morris also wrote and acted in The Man Who Lives Here Is Loony, a one-man play taken from the life and work of writer James Agee. In the 1980s Morris edited an arts and literary tabloid, Hard Knoxville Review, which attracted a following in this country and in Europe.

    As a musician, RB Morris has released the albums Take That Ride, Zeke and the Wheel, Empire, and Spies Lies and Burning Eyes. Many music journalists and magazines across the country reviewed Take That Ride as one of the Top 10 CDs of the year. Dave Marsh, of Rolling Stone, called it, “The kind of debut that makes you lust for a follow-up.” Zeke and the Wheel on Koch Records, which followed in 1999, was nominated for Americana CD of the Year by the American Federation of Independent Merchandisers.

    Lucinda Williams has called RB Morris “the greatest unknown songwriter in the country.” And Steve Earle says “RB Morris is the reason I started writing poetry.” Morris hails from Knoxville, Tennessee, and has traveled the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and in Europe.

    Morris served as the UT Libraries’ Writer-in-Residence from 2004 to 2008 and was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in 2009.
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    Writers in the Library is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For further information contact Marilyn Kallet, Director, UT Creative Writing Program (mkallet@nullutk.edu), or Christopher Hebert, Writer-in-Residence, UT Libraries (chebert3@nullutk.edu).

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