West Virginia Wesleyan MFA's Visiting Writers Series

West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program is hosting a variety of writers during its Visiting Writers Series. The readings are free and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. The authors will have their books available for sale and for signing after the readings. Readings will be held in WVWC’s Loar Auditorium in the Loar Hall of Music (Meade St. at Fayette St.). These events coincide with the MFA program’s winter residency.

Saturday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. – Diane Gilliam and Jacinda Townsend

  DIANE GILLIAM is the author of four poetry collections— Dreadful Wind & Rain  (Red Hen, 2017),  Kettle Bottom, One of Everything , and  Recipe for Blackberry Cake . She has won the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing, a Pushcart Prize, and the Ohioana Library Association Poetry Book of the Year Award for  Kettle Bottom . She is the most recent recipient of the Gift of Freedom from A Room of Her Own Foundation.   Learn more about gilliam.      JACINDA TOWNSEND is the author of  Saint Monkey  (Norton, 2014), which is set in 1950’s Eastern Kentucky and won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for best fiction written by a woman in 2014 and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for best historical fiction.  Saint Monkey  was also the 2015 Honor Book of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.   TOWNSEND received her MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, then spent a year as a Fulbright fellow in Côte d’Ivoire.   TOWNSEND teaches in the Creative Writing program at University of California, Davis, and is a Truth Fellow at the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco.   Learn more about Townsend.

DIANE GILLIAM is the author of four poetry collections—Dreadful Wind & Rain (Red Hen, 2017), Kettle Bottom, One of Everything, and Recipe for Blackberry Cake. She has won the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing, a Pushcart Prize, and the Ohioana Library Association Poetry Book of the Year Award for Kettle Bottom. She is the most recent recipient of the Gift of Freedom from A Room of Her Own Foundation. Learn more about gilliam.

JACINDA TOWNSEND is the author of Saint Monkey (Norton, 2014), which is set in 1950’s Eastern Kentucky and won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for best fiction written by a woman in 2014 and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for best historical fiction. Saint Monkey was also the 2015 Honor Book of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. TOWNSEND received her MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, then spent a year as a Fulbright fellow in Côte d’Ivoire. TOWNSEND teaches in the Creative Writing program at University of California, Davis, and is a Truth Fellow at the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco. Learn more about Townsend.

Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. – Laurie Jean Cannady and Jeremy Jones

  LAURIE JEAN CANNADY is a professor of English at Lock Haven University and creative writing faculty in the Wilkes University MA/FA low-residency Creative Writing Program. Her debut memoir  Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul  was listed as a finalist for Foreword’s 2015 Book of the Year Award and the Library of Virginia awards in the People’s Choice category.   Learn more about Cannady.      JEREMY JONES is the author of  Bearwallow: A PERSONAL History of a Mountain Homeland , which was named the 2014 Appalachian Book of the Year in nonfiction and awarded gold in memoir in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His essays appear in  Oxford American ,  The Iowa Review, Brevity , and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of English at Western Carolina University, and he co-edits  In Place , a nonfiction book series from West Virginia University Press.   Learn more about Jones.

LAURIE JEAN CANNADY is a professor of English at Lock Haven University and creative writing faculty in the Wilkes University MA/FA low-residency Creative Writing Program. Her debut memoir Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul was listed as a finalist for Foreword’s 2015 Book of the Year Award and the Library of Virginia awards in the People’s Choice category. Learn more about Cannady.

JEREMY JONES is the author of Bearwallow: A PERSONAL History of a Mountain Homeland, which was named the 2014 Appalachian Book of the Year in nonfiction and awarded gold in memoir in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His essays appear in Oxford American, The Iowa Review, Brevity, and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of English at Western Carolina University, and he co-edits In Place, a nonfiction book series from West Virginia University Press. Learn more about Jones.

Thursday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. – Rebecca Gayle Howell

  REBECCA GAYLE HOWELL is the author of  American Purgatory , winner of the 2016 Sexton Prize, and her debut collection,  Render/An Apocalypse , was a finalist for  Foreword ’s 2014 Book of the Year. Howell is also the translator of Amal al-Jubouri’s verse memoir of the Iraq War,  Hagar Before the Occupation/Hagar After the Occupation . Among Howell’s honors are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a Pushcart Prize. Howell edits poetry for the  Oxford American  and serves as James Still Writer-in-Residence at the Hindman Settlement School.   Learn more about howell.

REBECCA GAYLE HOWELL is the author of American Purgatory, winner of the 2016 Sexton Prize, and her debut collection, Render/An Apocalypse, was a finalist for Foreword’s 2014 Book of the Year. Howell is also the translator of Amal al-Jubouri’s verse memoir of the Iraq War, Hagar Before the Occupation/Hagar After the Occupation. Among Howell’s honors are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a Pushcart Prize. Howell edits poetry for the Oxford American and serves as James Still Writer-in-Residence at the Hindman Settlement School. Learn more about howell.

This project is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.