WMU News

Komunyakaa, Baxter among writers to present readings

Sept. 18, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa and award-winning author Charles Baxter are among the poets and writers who will present readings of their work at Western Michigan University this fall.

The WMU Reading Series, sponsored by the University's Department of English, is an annual program that brings well-known authors as well as up-and-coming writers to campus for public readings. These readings begin at 8:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Among the authors who will present readings are:

Liesel Litzenburger and Janet Kauffman, Thursday, Sept. 27, Room 2304 of Sangren Hall

A graduate of WMU, Litzenburger's essays and stories have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Alaska Quarterly Review and other magazines and anthologies. She has written for the Chicago Tribune and the Detroit Free Press and her first collection of short stories, "Now You Love Me," was published in June. She is an assistant professor of English at Central Michigan University.

Kauffman's books include the short story collections "Characters on the Loose," "Obscene Gestures for Women," and "Places in the World a Woman Could Walk." Her most recent book, "Rot," completes the trilogy "Flesh Made Word," which also includes her earlier short novels "Collaborators" and "The Body in Four Parts." Kauffman teaches at Eastern Michigan University.

Lewis Nordan, Thursday, Oct. 11, Room 2304 of Sangren Hall

Nordan is the author of the short story collections "Welcome to the Arrowcatcher Fair," "The All-Girl Football Team" and "Sugar Among the Freaks," as well as the novels "Music of the Swamp," "Wolf Whistle" and "The Sharpshooter Blues." His latest work, "Boy With Loaded Gun," is his first book of nonfiction. He has received the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, the Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and the Porter Prize Lifetime Achievement Award. Nordan teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.

Richard Jackson , Wednesday, Oct. 17, Room 2302 of Sangren Hall

Jackson is the author of five collections of poetry, including "Part of the Story," "Worlds Apart," "Alive All Day," "Heart's Bridge" and "Heartwall," which won the Juniper Prize. A winner of four Pushcart Prizes, Jackson is the editor of an anthology of Slovenian poets and was a Fulbright exchange poet to Yugoslavia. He was recently named a recipient of the Order of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia. Jackson teaches at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga.

Yusef Komunyakaa, Thursday, Nov. 8, Room 2302 of Sangren Hall

Komunyakaa is the author of nine collections of poetry, including "Dien Cai Dau," which chronicles his experiences in Vietnam, and "Neon Vernacular," the winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Prize in 1994. Komunyakaa has received fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and awards including the Thomas Forcade Award, the William Faulkner Prize and the 2001 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. He was elected chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 1999 and is a professor in the Council of Humanities and Creative Writing at Princeton University.

Charles Baxter , Thursday, Nov. 29, Room 2304 of Sangren Hall

Baxter is the author of short stories, poetry, essays and novels including "First Light," "Shadowplay," "Harmony of the World," "Through the Safety Net," "A Relative Stranger," "Believers," "Imaginary Painting" and "Burning Down the House." His most recent novel, "The Feast of Love," was a 2000 National Book Award finalist, a New York Times Notable Book and a Boston Globe and independent bookstore bestseller.

For more information, contact the WMU Department of English at (616) 387-2572.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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