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Authors to read at fundraiser for WMU's New Issues Poetry and Prose

by Mark Schwerin

Aug. 11, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon, WMU.
Gordon, National Book Award winner for "Lord of Misrule"
KALAMAZOO--Several authors, including National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon and finalist Bonnie Jo Campbell, will read from their works later this month during a fundraiser for Western Michigan University's New Issues Poetry and Prose.

The literary press' third annual fundraiser is set for 2:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, at Bell's Brewery, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., and also will feature readings by upcoming New Issues authors Susanna Childress and Lizzie Hutton. The readings will last about 45 to 50 minutes. A $5 donation will be requested.

In addition, the event will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the press and serve as a thank you to Marianne Swierenga, who has stepped down as New Issues managing editor. Swierenga has served as managing editor for 11 years, helping to bring more than 100 books to print. She recently joined WMU's Waldo Library as coordinator of metadata and digital resources. Previously she held positions as librarian and archivist at the Learning Resource Center of Kellogg Community College.

Gordon is a WMU professor of English. Her most recent novels are "Bogeywoman" and "Lord of Misrule," winner of the National Book Award. Her translation of Maria Beig's "Hermine: An Animal Life" appeared in New Issues in 2005. Her short fiction, poems, essays and translations have appeared in the Colorado Review, Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry International, Best American Short Stories and many other places.

Photo of National Book Award finalist Bonnie Jo Campbell.
Campbell, National Book Award finalist for "American Salvage"
Campbell is a Kalamazoo native, who earned three degrees from WMU in math and one in creative writing. Campbell's critically acclaimed short fiction collection "American Salvage," which consists of 14 lush and rowdy stories of folks who are struggling to make sense of the 21st century, was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction. The New York Times calls Campbell's newest novel, "Once Upon a River," "an excellent American parable about the consequences of our favorite ideal, freedom."

Childress' first book, "Jagged with Love," was awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin and the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award from the University of Southern Illinois-Carbondale. She has received an AWP Intro Journals Award, the National Career Award in Poetry from the National Society of Arts and Letters and a Lilly post-doctoral fellowship. She lives in Holland, Mich.

Raised in Brooklyn, Hutton has seen her poetry appear in the Yale Review, Harvard Review, Antioch Review and Interim. She is the recipient of the Sycamore Review's Wabash Prize, a Hopwood Award and Meader Family Award. Hutton will read from her first book, "She'd Waited Millennia."

New Issues Poetry and Prose publications are made possible by support from WMU, grant funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the generous donations of a supportive arts community.

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