Bestselling Author Lorrie Moore Opens Stellar Reading Series

Posted September 10th, 2009 at 11:25 am.

A reading by best-selling author Lorrie Moore from her new novel A Gate at the Stairs opens Bryn Mawr College’s yearlong Creative Writing Program Reading Series. This year’s series also features Dominican-American poet, fiction, and nonfiction writer Julia Alvarez; playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama; The Paris Review co-founder and literary icon Peter Matthiessen; and several other notable poets, essayists and authors. The Creative Writing Program Reading Series is free and open to the public.

photo of Lorrie Moore

Photo by Photo by Linda Nylind

Moore will read from her work at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Thomas Great Hall. In addition to A Gate at the Stairs, Moore is the author of the story collections Birds of America and Self-Help, and the novels Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Anagrams. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani has called her work “at once sad and funny, lyrical and prickly … virtuosic [and] wise.”

This year’s series will also feature:

Photo of Suzan-Lori Parks

Photo by Stephanie Diani

Suzan-Lori Parks, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m., Thomas Great Hall. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks received the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog. Her project 365 Days/365 Plays created one of the largest grass-roots collaborations in theater history. Her other plays include In the Blood, Venus, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom, and The America Play. Her first novel is Getting Mother’s Body, and she has also written a musical, Ray Charles Live! Her new plays are Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 8 & 9) and Snake. Parks has also received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

photo of Marilyn Nelson

photo by Frank Funk

Marilyn Nelson, Thursday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., Ely Room at the Wyndham Alumnae House. Poet, translator, and three-time National Book Award finalist Marilyn Nelson is the author of twelve books, including The Homeplace, The Fields Of Praise: New And Selected Poems, Carver: A Life In Poems (a Newbery Honor Book), Fortune’s Bones, A Wreath For Emmett Till, and The Cachoiera Tales And Other Poems (finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award). Her latest book is Sweethearts of Rhythm. Poet Joyce S. Brown writes, “She is moral, loving, visionary … Reading her work is as much a lesson in history and in human nature as it is a lesson in poetry.”

photo of George Saunders

Photo by Caitlin Saunders

George Saunders, Monday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m., Ely Room at the Wyndham Alumnae House. Short-story writer and essayist George Saunders’ work appears regularly in The New Yorker, Harper’s Monthly, and GQ. Tobias Wolff says he is “a writer of arresting brilliance and originality,” and The New York Times says “he writes like the illegitimate offspring of Nathaniel West and Kurt Vonnegut.” He is a four-time National Magazine Award winner, and his most recent collection of stories, In Persuasion Nation, was a finalist for the 2007 The Story Prize.

Photo of Julia Alvarez

Photo by Bill Eichner

Julia Alvarez: Words and Music, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., Thomas Great Hall. Julia Alvarez is the author of books of fiction including How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, and Saving the World; collections of poetry including The Woman I Kept to Myself, Homecoming: New and Selected Poems, and The Other Side; the nonfiction work Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA; and books for children. In addition to Alvarez’s reading from her own work, this evening will feature L’Ensemble—soprano Ida Faiella, violinist Barry Finclair, and pianist Charles Abramovic—performing Haverford College Professor of Music Heidi Jacob’s settings of Alvarez’s poems.

Photo of Mark Strand

Photo by Timothy Greenfield Sanders

Mark Strand, Thursday, March 25, 7:30 p.m., Ely Room at the Wyndham Alumnae House. Mark Strand is the author of twelve books of poetry, including New Selected Poems, Man and Camel, Blizzard of One (recipient of the Pulitzer Prize), Dark Harbor, and The Continuous Life, as well as volumes of prose, translations, and art criticism. In 1990 he was named Poet Laureate of the United States. Poet Louise Glück writes of his work, “it is our misfortune to identify worldliness and irony with lack of substance; in poetry at this level, they manifest profound wisdom and daring.”

Photo of Peter Matthiessen

Photo by Peter Matthiessen

Peter Matthiessen, Thursday, April 15, 7:30 p.m., Thomas Great Hall. Peter Matthiessen is a recipient of National Book Awards in both nonfiction (for The Snow Leopard, in 1980) and fiction—most recently this past year for his trilogy Shadow Country: A New Rendering of the Watson Legend. Publishers Weekly says of this novel that it is “a touchstone of modern American literature.” Matthiessen’s other books of fiction include At Play in the Fields of the Lord and Far Tortuga. His nonfiction works include Blue Meridian, The Tree Where Man Was Born, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, and, most recently, End of the Earth: Voyage to Antarctica.

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