Award-Winning Writers Featured in Ashland University Master of Fine Arts Summer Program
Accomplished writers Thomas French, Kathleen Norris and David Wojahn will join four additional visiting writers and 14 faculty members in presenting at Ashland University’s Master of Fine Arts Summer Residency Program this summer. The events, which are free and open to the public, will begin July 24 and continue through Aug. 5.
French, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller “Zoo Story,” will give a reading July 28 at 7 p.m. and will hold a craft seminar July 29 from 1-2:30 p.m. Both events will be located in Room 138 of the Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Education.
French has worked as a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times for 27 years and he currently teaches at Indiana University, in Goucher College's MFA program for creative nonfiction, at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and at writing conferences around the world, from Paris to Singapore to Johannesburg. “Zoo Story” has recently been featured on The Colbert Report, in People Magazine and on NPR's Talk of the Nation.
Norris, a bestselling writer and noted poet, will give a reading Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. and will hold a craft seminar Aug. 2 from 1-2:30 p.m., both in Schar 138.
Norris has published seven books of poetry, and her first nonfiction book, “Dakota: A Spiritual Geography,” was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was selected as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal. Her other bestsellers include “The Cloister Walk,” “Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith,” and “The Virgin of Bennington.”
Wojahn, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, will give a reading Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. and will hold a craft seminar Aug. 5 from 1-2:30 p.m., both in Schar 138.
Among his published works, Wojahn has eight poetry books to date, including his 2006 book “Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004,”for which he was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the O. B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library. With several fellowships received and past teaching experience at numerous universities, Wojahn is presently professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and is also a member of the program faculty of the MFA in Writing Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Other public events during the summer residency program include:
-- A faculty craft seminar, “Writing About Art/Finding Art Within, or: How Giotto Painted My Poem,” by Jill Christman and Angie Estes, July 24 at 2 p.m. in Schar 138.
-- An MFA faculty reading July 24 at 7 p.m. in Schar 138, featuring Carmen Giménez Smith, Steven Harvey and Robert Root.
-- A faculty craft seminar, “’What Else is True?’ Encompassing Complexity,” by Ruth L. Schwartz, July 25 at 1 p.m. in Schar 138.
-- A reading by visiting writer Rhina Espaillat July 25 at 7 p.m. in Schar 138.
-- A craft seminar, “Dancing in a Box,” by Rhina Espaillat, July 26 at 1 p.m. in Schar 138.
-- An MFA faculty reading July 26 at 7 p.m. in Schar 138, featuring Peter Campion, Stephen Haven and Peter Trachtenberg.
-- An MFA faculty reading July 27 at 7 p.m. in Schar 138, featuring Bob Cowser Jr., Jill Christman and Ruth L. Schwartz.
-- A faculty craft seminar, “Poetry and Memorability,” by Mark Irwin and Peter Campion, July 28 at 1 p.m. in Schar 138.
-- A faculty reading July 29 at 7 p.m. in Schar 138, featuring Deborah Fleming and Joe Mackall.
-- A panel on “The Life of Literature: Before and After Publishing,” featuring Tom Larson, Joe Mackall, Deborah Fleming, and Stephen Haven, July 30 at 10 a.m. in Schar 138.
-- An MFA faculty and administrator reading July 31 at 7 p.m. in Schar 138, featuring Sonya Huber, Kathryn Winograd and Sarah M. Wells.
-- A faculty craft seminar, “A New Lyric: On the ‘I’ and ‘You’ and Subjectivity,” by Carmen Giménez Smith, August 1 at 1 p.m. in Schar 138.
-- An MFA faculty reading Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. in Schar 138, featuring Angie Estes, Mark Irwin and Leila Philip.
-- Readings by visiting editors Tom Larson, Michael Steinberg, and Todd Boss Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. in Schar 138.
-- A faculty craft seminar, “The Facts of the Matter,” by Sonya Huber and Peter Trachtenberg, Aug. 4 at 1 p.m. in Schar 138.
Further information about the program, including a detailed schedule of events and biographies of the award-winning visiting writers, is available at www.ashland.edu/graduate/mfa.
Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.