Creative Writing Program announces spring lineup of Raymond Carver Reading Series
Syracuse University’s M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing has announced the Spring 2009 lineup for the Raymond Carver Reading Series. Each year, the series brings six fiction writers and six poets to campus to read their work and interact with students. Each event begins at 3:45 p.m. with a Q&A session, followed by an author reading and book signing at 5:30 p.m. All events take place in Gifford Auditorium in Huntington Beard Crouse Hall and are free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots. For more information, call (315) 443-2174.
This semester’s lineup is as follows: New Yorker fiction writer Rebecca Curtis G’01 (Jan. 28), poet and memoirist Sarah Manguso (Feb. 25), “magic realist” writer Kelly Link (March 18), Kingsley Tuft Award-winning poet Tom Sleigh (March 25), Library of Congress Poet Laureate Charles Simic (April 15) and international short-story writer Roy Kesey (April 22).
“The Raymond Carver Reading Series is the spine of SU’s literary scene,” says program director Christopher Kennedy ’88. “Each year, we host a dozen major writers who engage directly with students and faculty members. This kind of interaction is indicative of the personalized instruction that pervades the Creative Writing Program.”
Curtis is one of today’s top fiction writers; her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, McSweeney’s and n+1. Praised by SU English professor George Saunders G’88 as “one of the most exciting practitioners of this most difficult form,” Curtis made her literary debut with “Twenty Grand and Other Tales of Love and Money” (Harper Perennial, 2007). She is a recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and her work has been selected for The O. Henry Prize Stories (Anchor Books, 2007). She teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia University.
Manguso is author of the memoir “The Two Kinds of Decay” (Farrar, Straus, & Goroux, 2008), named “Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year” by the San Francisco Chronicle and an “Editor’s Choice” by The New York Times. Manguso’s stories and poetry have drawn praise from outlets worldwide, including The Village Voice, American Book Review, Elle magazine and Readings (Australia), which awarded her story collection “Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape” (McSweeney’s Books, 2007) its “Book of the Year” honor. She is an adjunct assistant professor at the Pratt Institute in New York City.
Link is the force behind two acclaimed story collections: “Stranger Things Happen” and “Magic for Beginners” (Small Beer Press, 2001 and 2005, respectively). Her work has won Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy awards. In addition to running Small Beer Press, she and her husband are fantasy editors of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin’s Griffin) and publishers of the small-press zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.
Sleigh is author of seven collections of poetry, including “Space Walk” (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), winner of the prestigious Kingsley Tuft Award, and “Far Side of the Earth” (2003), named an Honor Book by the Massachusetts Society for the Book. Among his many honors and awards are an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America and an Individual Writer’s Award from the Lila Wallace Fund. He is program director of and senior poet at Hunter College’s M.F.A. Creative Writing Program in New York City.
Simic is the outgoing poet laureate of the U.S. Library of Congress. The Yugoslavian-born writer, who is featured in this year’s CNY Reads’ “One City, One Book” campaign, has published more than 60 books, including 20 books of poetry. He also has published numerous translations of French, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian and Slovenian poetry; has written several books of essays; and has edited several anthologies. Simic received the Academy Fellowship in 1998, was elected chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000, and earned the Academy’s Wallace Stevens Award in 2007. He is professor emeritus of creative writing and literature at the University of New Hampshire.
Kesey is a fiction and creative non-fiction writer whose work has appeared in more than 50 magazines and anthologies, including McSweeney’s, The Georgia Review and The Iowa Review. Born and raised in California, Kesey lives with his wife and children in Beijing, where he regularly contributes to a variety of websites, including mcsweeneys.net, the nervousbreakdown.com and thebeijinger.com. He is author of the war story “Nothing in the World” and the story collection “All Over,” both published last year, to great acclaim, by Dzanc Books. The latter contains “Wait,” featured in The Best American Short Stories 2007 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007).
Named for the great writer/poet who taught at SU in the 1980s, the Raymond Carver Reading Series is a vital part of Syracuse’s literary life. The series is presented by SU’s M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, generally recognized as one of the finest in the country. More information about the program and the Department of English in The College of Arts and Sciences is available at http://thecollege.syr.edu.