Longtime English professor collaborates with wife in upcoming Frostic event

Contact: Mark Schwerin

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A longtime former English professor and his longtime artistic collaborator and wife will read from their works in December as part of the Fall 2015 Gwen Frostic Reading Series at Western Michigan University

Dr. William Arnold "Arnie" Johnston, WMU professor emeritus of English, and Deborah Ann Percy, will read at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, in 208-209 Bernhard Center. Their presentation, part of the Fall 2015 Gwen Frostic Reading Series, is free and open to the public.

Johnston and Percy

Johnston joined the WMU faculty in 1966 and officially retired in 2008 with the title of professor and chair emeritus of English, serving as department chair from 1997 to 2007. He was a 1990 recipient of the University's Distinguished Teaching Award. His books include two poetry collections—"What the Earth Taught Us" and "Sonnets: Signs and Portents"—and "The Witching Voice: A Novel from the Life of Robert Burns." His translations of Jacques Brel's songs have appeared in numerous musical reviews nationwide and also are featured on his compact disc "Jacques Brel: I'm Here!"

Johnston and Percy, his wife and former principal at Maple Street Magnet Middle School for the Arts in Kalamazoo, have collaborated on more than 50 plays. Their individual and collaborative plays have received numerous awards and publication both nationally and internationally. They have written, co-written, edited or translated over 20 books.

Their works include the full-length plays "Beyond Sex" and "Rasputin in New York" and a collection of one-act plays entitled "Duets: Love is Strange," among others. They are members of the Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights' Center, Theatre Communications Group and the American Literary Translators Association.

For more information, visit wmich.edu/english/events/frostic.

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