Author Jayne Anne Phillips to read from new work Thursday

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Author Jayne Anne Phillips will read from her new novel “Quiet Dell” at the Greenville Museum of Art at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The reading is part of the East Carolina University Contemporary Writers Series and is free and open to the public.

Stephen King has said, “In a brilliant fusion of fact and fiction, Jayne Anne Phillips has written the novel of the year. It’s the story of a serial killer’s crimes and capture, yes, but it’s also a compulsively readable story of how one brave woman faces up to acts of terrible violence in order to create something good and strong in the aftermath. ‘Quiet Dell’ will be compared to ‘In Cold Blood,’ but Phillips offers something Capote could not: a heroine who lights up the dark places and gives us hope in our humanity.”

Phillips’ novels address the social and historical tensions that challenge American families, including such subjects as war and domestic violence. Her debut novel “Machine Dreams” (1984) chronicles a family from the Depression to the Vietnam War, and their story is revealed through the thoughts and memories of each family member. Her fourth novel, “Lark and Termite,” was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2009.

Phillips is the director of the master of fine arts program at Rutgers University-Newark. She previously taught at Harvard University, Williams College and Boston University.

The Contemporary Writers Services is housed in the ECU Department of English, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Thomas Douglass, Contemporary Writers Series committee member and associate professor of English, at 252-328-6723 or douglasst@ecu.edu.

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ECU event basis of new collection on Sir Walter Raleigh

Papers delivered at an international ECU conference formed the basis for a new collection of scholarly essays on Sir Walter Raleigh titled “Literary and Visual Ralegh,” released Spring 2014.

Many of the articles in the collection were delivered at the 2008 ECU conference, Raleigh in the Altantic World. The conference was organized by David Wilson-Okamura and Marianne Montgomery in the ECU Department of English, with support of the ECU Medieval and Renaissance Studies program, directed by Kevin Moll.

bookAccording to the book description at http://www.manchesterspenser.org/releases/30_literaryraleigh, articles in the book represent a range of disciplines, including literary, historical and art historical studies, and focus on the life, works and legacy of Sir Walter Raleigh.

Editor Christopher Armitage of UNC-Chapel Hill launched the book in April, presenting at the event along with ECU English professor Thomas Herron, one of the contributing authors.

 

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ECU student selected for writing award

Buchanan

Buchanan

A short story by East Carolina University creative writing student Tim Bachanan, titled “Mezuzah,” was selected by Daniel Chacón as a winner in the Association of Writers & Writing Programs’ Intro Journals Awards.

The Intro Journals Project is a literary competition for the discovery and publication of the best new works by students enrolled in AWP member programs. The piece will be published in the literary journal Puerto Del Sol.

For additional information about the AWP and this year’s award winners, visit https://www.awpwriter.org/contests/intro_journals_project_overview.

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Albright book chronicles B-1 Band history

ECU English professor Alex Albright was interviewed this month on the WUNC N.C. Public Radio program, “The State of Things,” about his recent book titled “The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy.” (Hear the interview at http://wunc.org/post/integrating-navy-through-music.)

Alex Albright

Alex Albright

The book details the history of a band of integration pioneers from N.C. A&T University, who were the first African Americans to serve in the modern U.S. Navy at a rank higher than messman’s.

Albright chronicles the history of The B-1 Band, founded in 1942 as the first of more than 100 black WWII Navy bands. Formed from NC A&T students and graduates, the group trained at Norfolk and served at the Navy’s pre-flight school in Chapel Hill and at Pearl Harbor, where they were stationed at the largest posting of African American servicemen in the world.

Previous histories have credited B-1’s historic accomplishment to a different group of sailors who trained at the Great Lakes bases in Chicago. Albright used documents found at the Navy’s national archives at College Park, Md. to support the claim he had heard from the surviving members of B-1 for years.

“Until I found those documents, all we ever had was an oral history,” said Albright. “And the documents I found had never been cataloged.”

“The Forgotten First,” released Oct. 24, has received praise from poet and novelist Fred Chappell, Navy Senior Chief Musician Michael Bayes and retired Navy Masterchief Musician Marshall B. Hawkins. The 196-page book includes 70 photos and illustrations, extensive notes and a bibliography. B-1’s archives, housed in Special Collections at ECU, was the source for many of the book’s images.

Copies are available at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro; UBE in Greenville; Woodside Antiques in Farmville; and at Fountain General Store in Fountain. Copies are also available on Amazon and from R.A. Fountain’s e.store, www.rafountain.com/store. Kindle, Nook, and Lulu editions are forthcoming.

Design for the book was done by former ECU art professor Eva Roberts, award-winning art director of the North Carolina Literary Review from 1991-96. It was printed in Greenville by Morgan Printing.

A review of the book by O Henry magazine, along with an excerpt, is available at http://www.ohenrymag.com/?page_id=25

Albright will participate in a book signing at UBE in Greenville Dec. 21 with B-1 veteran Huey Lawrence.

For additional information, contact Albright at 252-749-7974. For a calendar of events related to the book, visit www.rafountain.com/navy.

 

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Annual Literary Homecoming set for Sept. 20, 21

Celebration of the state's literary traditions at the 10th Eastern Annual North Carolina Literary Homecoming will include authors pictured above.

Celebration of the state’s literary traditions at the 10th Eastern Annual North Carolina Literary Homecoming will include authors pictured above.

East Carolina University will honor the region’s literary traditions Sept. 20 – 21. The Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming presented by the “North Carolina Literary Review and Joyner Library will offer interactive writing workshops in addition to panel presentations. This year’s theme, “North Carolina: A State of Change, A Changing State,” focuses on change in North Carolina and how it is reflected in the state’s literature.

For ten years, the ENCLH has been nourishing and revitalizing the creative spirit for writers as the event provides a place where artists and community members can interact and share ideas. The theme of the annual event mirrors the theme of the award-winning “North Carolina Literary Review’s” special feature section. The writers coming to ECU are featured in the pages of NCLR’s current and forthcoming print and online issues.

Each year, the Literary Homecoming kicks off on Friday evening with the presentation of the Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration. This year the award will be presented to former North Carolina Poet Laureate and UNC–Greensboro Professor Emeritus Fred Chappell for his significant influence upon the literature of North Carolina.

Also on Friday evening, guests can enjoy a reading from Wiley Cash, author of “A Land More Kind than Home, and music by poet-musician Jim Clark of Barton College.

“Joyner Library is pleased to host the Literary Homecoming again this year,” said Jan Lewis, interim dean of the library.  “The Friday evening dessert reception, sponsored by the Friends of Joyner Library, is always a wonderful way to start the weekend.  We invite members of the community to celebrate the literary traditions of North Carolina with us during this two-day event.”

On Saturday, several North Carolina writers will take part in two different panels. The first will focus on “Tarheel Literature in Black and White.” The second will focus on the emerging Latina/o voices among North Carolina writers and the resulting literary and cultural production that represents the experiences, needs, and aspirations of the Latino communities in the state.

Javier Lorenzo, chair of the Spanish Curriculum Committee at ECU, said, “Given the extraordinary growth of the Hispanic population in Eastern N.C., there is no better time to meet the authors featured in the Homecoming and to get acquainted with a literature that reflects the changing face of our state.”

At the lunch Saturday, Fred Chappell will present the 3rd James Applewhite Poetry Prize to the 2013 recipient, and Anna Jean Mayhew, author of “The Dry Grass of August, will read from her new novel in progress, “Tomorrow’s Bread.

The afternoon will feature six different workshops with visiting authors, covering the writing and presenting of poetry, fiction, playwriting, and memoir.

NCLR Editor Margaret Bauer invites everyone to read interviews and essays from many of the writers participating in this year’s Literary Homecoming, in the recently released 2013 issue of the “North Carolina Literary Review, and then meet the authors in person.

All events, except for Saturday author’s luncheon ($12), are free and open to the public. For program and registration information, go to www.ecu.edu/lithomecoming, call 252.328.1537, or e-mail lithomecoming@ecu.edu.

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The event is a recognized program for Certificate Renewal Credit for teachers. Contact Dawn Wainwright for CEU credit information at wainwrightd@ecu.edu or 252.328.4090.

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