Smith Creative Writers Reading Series
Celebrated writers of poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction visit campus several times each year to give lectures, readings, discussions, and book signings. Presentations are held at 6:00 p.m. (preceded by receptions at 5:30 p.m.) in the Smith Chapel. All events are free and open to the public. Presented with the support of the Clarence A. and Eugenie Baumann Smith Fund.
Robert Michael Pyle, Non-Fiction - 9/4/2014
Robert Michael Pyle writes essays, poetry, and fiction from an old Swedish farmstead along a tributary of the Lower Columbia River in southwestern Washington. His eighteen books include Wintergreen and The Tangled Bank. As a Guggenheim Fellow, he has received the John Burroughs Medal and several other writing awards. Pyle’s poems have appeared in magazines including the North American Review, and in a chapbook, Letting the Flies Out. Evolution of the Genus IRIS is his first full length book of poems.
Faculty Reading: George Looney, Poet - 9/11/2014
A mysterious woman in a sequined dress gracefully riding an elephant. Majestic buffalo grazing alongside. A fat man, seemingly kaleidoscopic in the sun’s rays, inches ever closer to the woman. And an encroaching row of John Deeres presses close behind them. Structures the Wind Sings Through is framed by loss in much the same way that Looney’s previous poetry has been, but, as always, this loss is different. From the cracking concrete of construction, Structures elevates the reader to a circus of road workers drunk in taverns, to sparrows fluttering in disconnect, and to a sea of multicultural cries that break the barriers of time to form an apocalyptic frontier that equally embraces and denies faith.
George Looney has been published most recently in Cimarron Review, The Aurorean, Georgetown Review, The Cape Rock, Prairie Schooner, Spillway, and The Greensboro Review. He has six other collections of poetry including Monks Beginning to Waltz (2012) and A Short Bestiary of Love and Madness (2011), as well as the novella, Hymn of Ash (2008). He is the Editor-in-Chief for the International Literary Journal, Lake Effect.
Alice Friman, Poet - 9/18/2014
Alice Friman’s The View from Saturn endeavors to look at life on earth from two perspectives at once: objectively, as if from a great distance, and subjectively, focusing in on the body with all its cells and hungers. Her poems dance between these two vantage points, trying to find a rhyme and reason to our day-to-day lives. With dark humor and lyrical honesty, The View from Saturn provides both a telescopic and microscopic look at ourselves, exploring how in our smallness, and perhaps foolishness, we are still capable of attaining a measure of nobility. Friman now lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she is Poet-in-Residence at Georgia College.
John Minichillo, Fiction - 10/9/2014
Minichillo cleverly dishes out a resounding twist on Melville’s classic tale of Moby Dick that re-examines identity, race, and our connection to nature, all while poking fun at our contentment with heated socks in an era defined by global warming. Publisher’s Weekly has claimed The Snow Whale to be "subtle and outrageous in equal measure," while the LA Times says it’s "pure hilarity all around." Minichillo’s work has also appeared in Third Coast, In Posse Review, Carve Magazine, and Mississippi Review. He lives and teaches in Tennessee, where he is also one of the founders of the Nashville Fiction Workshop.
Thesis Reading (Students TBA) - 12/4/2014
Thesis Reading (Students TBA) - 12/11/2014
Previous Visiting Writers: