June 22, 1998
Volume 50, No. 34
Cool off with Emory's Summer Writers' Festival
Anyone with an ear for good writing should mark July 14-16 on the calendar because this year's Summer Writers' Festival will offer up a full menu of sparkling prose from around the country.
Part of the Summer Writers' Institute, which runs from June 29 through Aug. 7, the three-day festival features readings by four authors as well as a panel discussion moderated by poet and novelist Judson Mitcham, adjunct professor of creative writing at Emory.
At 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14, Jim Kilgo will read from his recently released first novel, Daughter of My People, a fictionalized account of Kilgo's own family history set in the South Carolina low country. Kilgo is a professor of English at the University of Georgia and has published two books of personal essays, Deep Enough for Ivorybills and Inheritance of Horses. His work has appeared in Georgia Review, New England Review, Sewanee Review, Oxford American and many other publications.
"Good stories have to do with elemental things, with rivers and weathers and people in touch with the natural world," Kilgo said of his work. "It just seems to me that contemporary American literature offers great writing and poor stories. I think there are 100 writers now in this country who are better writers than [Theodore] Dreiser or Stephen Crane, but they don't have anything to say. I'm not talking about philosophically; they just don't have stories to tell."
Also reading on July 14 will be Tony Earley. Earley's collection of short stories, Here We Are in Paradise, was published in 1994, and he currently is at work on a novel. His fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Harper's, Esquire, Oxford American, Story and Granta, which named him in 1996 to its "Best of Young American Novelists" list. Earley teaches writing at Vanderbilt University.
Reading at 8 p.m. on July 16 will be Alyce Miller, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for The Nature of Longing, a collection of one novella and seven short stories. Miller's novel, Stopping for Green Lights, will be published in December. Her work has appeared in, among others, Prairie Schooner, Witness, Glimmer Train and Kenyon Review, from which she received an award for literary excellence in fiction. Miller teaches at Indiana University.
Following Miller on July 15 will be Robert Boswell, author of six books of fiction: American Owned Love, Living to be 100, Mystery Ride, The Geography of Desire, Dancing in the Movies and Crooked Hearts. Boswell's stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, O'Henry Prize Stories, Georgia Review and other magazines. He teaches at New Mexico State University and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
Sandwiched between the two evenings of readings will be the panel discussion "Truth and Fiction" on July 15 at 4 p.m. That night a group of student readings will begin at 8 p.m. All events take place in 207 White Hall and are free and open to the public.