Reading to feature award-winning poet

Poets Dorianne Laux and Celeste Doaks will present a reading of original work at 7 p.m. April 20 in Bate Building Room 1031.

Laux, an award -winning poet whose fifth collection, “The Book of Men,” was published recently by W.W. Norton, will be joined in the reading by Celeste Doaks, a former student who teaches poetry at ECU.

Laux’s fourth collection, “Facts about the Moon,” won the Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. “Awake, What We Carry” was a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award. She has won two Best American Poetry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim. Her poems have been collected in the “Best of American Poetry Review,” the “Norton Anthology of Contemporary Poetry,” and the Best of the Net.

Doaks, who joined the ECU Department of English in January, worked as a free-lance journalist in New York before moving to Raleigh to attend NCSU. There she earned a master of fine arts in creative writing, while studying with Laux. Doaks was a recipient of the 2009 Academy of American Poets Graduate Prize and an Association of Writers and Writing Programs scholarship. She has written for The Village Voice and Time Out New York, and her poems have appeared in a variety of literary magazines.

Admission is free and parking restrictions around the Bate building will be lifted for the event.

For additional information on the reading, contact Alex Albright, director of creative writing, at 252-328-4876 or albrightd@ecu.edu. For more details on Laux, visit http://www.doriannelaux.com/.

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Author, long-distance hiker presents first Last Lecture

Author, business owner and record-setting long-distance hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis will share lessons learned on the Appalachian trail at East Carolina University April 19 and 20.

Davis has hiked more than 9,000 miles of long distance trails on six continents. She is the owner of the Blue Ridge Hiking Company in Asheville, and author of “Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail,” which chronicles her experiences on a grueling four-month hike from Georgia to Maine.

Following her 2004 graduation from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., Davis found herself dissatisfied with her career path. Her decision to leave her job and embark alone on a record-setting 2,175-mile hike led to a life-altering experience that transformed her both physically and emotionally. Recounting that experience in “Becoming Odyssa,” Davis said, “I had no idea that the challenges faced as a 21-year-old woman hiking the Appalachian Trail would so deeply impact who I am, what I believe and how I want to live.”

Davis will share critical life lessons learned on the trail with her ECU audience. Her visit to campus includes the following events that are open to the public:

April 19

12:30 p.m., Tipsy Teapot  – Lunch and conversation with the author

3:30 p.m., Campus Recreation and Wellness – Backpacking and hiking clinic

7 p.m. Hendrix Theatre – “Goals, Attitudes and Balance – How to Pack Your Backpack for Success,” followed by a book signing

April 20

4 p.m., Hendrix Theatre – “Six Months Without a Mirror: Redefining beauty, success and happiness without the help of mainstream media.”

Davis’ visit is part of a new ECU program entitled “The Last Lecture,” developed from a partnership between the Office of Student Transitions and First Year Programs and Campus Recreation and Wellness, the Department of English and the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. The program is based upon the famed last lecture made by the late professor Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who presented an upbeat presentation following his diagnosis with terminal pancreatic cancer.

Mary Beth Corbin, director of the Office of Student Transitions and First Year Programs, said the ECU Last Lecture program specifically targets rising sophomores, who are often “in the throes of confusion in their academic, social and personal development.” She said the speaker is asked to focus on beliefs related to life’s transitions.

For additional information, contact Corbin at 252-328-4173 or corbinm@ecu.edu.

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ECU professor examines experience of women immigrants

East Carolina University sociology professor Susan Pearce has co-authored a book that chronicles the experiences of female immigrants living in the United States today.

“Immigration and Women: Understanding the American Experience” incorporates Census data and personal interviews with women of diverse backgrounds to tell their stories about acclimating to the American culture while caring for children and families, venturing into the workforce, producing creative works and championing for social change.

“We recommend changes for public policy to address the constraints these women face,” Pearce said, noting that the new policy must address the diverse profiles of today’s immigrating woman. “She is both potentially vulnerable to exploitative conditions and forging new avenues of societal leadership,” Pearce said.

Pearce is co-editor of “Reformulations: Markets, Policy and Identities in Central and Eastern Europe” and “Mosaics of Change: The First Decade of Life in the New Eastern Europe.” She also published a research blog on the 20th anniversary commemorations of 1989 in East-Central Europe at http://susancpearce.wordpress.com/.

Published by New York University Press, the book is co-authored by Elizabeth Clifford, associate professor of sociology at Towson University in Maryland, and Reena Tandon, sessional lecturer in South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto.

For additional information, contact Pearce at 252-328-2544 or pearces@ecu.edu.

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