|Writers Conference 101 plans book discussions|
The organizers of the 2009 UND Writers Conference have planned a series of book discussions to help acquaint readers with the visiting authors and their books.
The book discussions, called Writers Conference 101, will be Mondays from noon to 1 p.m. starting Jan. 26 at Christus Rex, facilitated by the English department faculty, graduate students and others.
For those who can't get away during the lunch hour, Writers Conference 101 will be held on selected Sundays (beginning Jan. 25) from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the UND Bookstore next to Englestad Arena.
The Writers Conference, March 31 through April 4 at UND, will feature authors Steve Almond, Charles Baxter, Marco Candida, Chuck Klosterman, Jaqueline Osherow, Karen Russell and Greg Williamson.
This year the UND Writers Conference will celebrate its 40th anniversary. It was founded in 1970 when the late John Little, a UND English professor, missed some of his literary friends from the South and decided to invite them to share their work in North Dakota.
Since that first conference, some of the most lauded names in literature have visited the UND campus, including Allen Ginsberg, Truman Capote, Edward Albee, Louise Erdrich, Thomas McGrath, Sherman Alexie and Alice Walker. Last years Writers Conference included Sir Salman Rushdie and Junot Diaz, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year.
The event typically draws more than 3,000 literature lovers from North Dakota, Minnesota and beyond to attend the free conference. It includes readings, panel discussions and opportunities for attendees to ask questions of nationally and internationally prominent authors.
Organizers of the conference believe lots of people buy the visiting author's books before the conference, intending to read them but then never finding the time. The organizers want Writers Conference 101 to help people learn more about the authors and to discuss their work.
Each session will begin with a brief overview of the author, followed by questions and discussion of the book title. Questions? Call 777-2787 or go online to www.english.und.edu.
Here's a schedule for Writers Conference 101
Heres a rundown on the visiting authors who will speak and discuss their work at the 2009 UND Writers Conference set for March 31 to April 4 at UND.
- UND alum Chuck Klosterman released his first novel, Dowtown Owl, earlier this year but perhaps is best known for his nonfiction works, including "Fargo Rock City," "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" and "Killing Yourself to Live." He has written for SPIN, Esquire and other publications.
- Steve Almonds nonfiction book "Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America" was a New York Times Bestseller and featured on The Food Network. He is the author of two collections of short stories.
- Charles Baxter is author of "The Soul Thief" and "Saul and Patsy." His third novel, "The Feast of Love," was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000 and has been made into a film by Robert Benton starring Morgan Freeman. His works include novels, essays and poems. He is Edelstein-Keller professor of creative writing at University of Minnesota.
- Marco Candida, born in Italy, a resident of Genoa, has published novels, "La mania per lalfabeto" (Alphabet Mania), "Il diario dei sogni" (Dream Diary) and "Domani avrò trentanni" (Tomorrow Ill be Thirty). He recently was named a finalist at the prestigious Turin Poetry Festival. He is well-known in Italy for his literary blog: http://lamaniaperlalfabeto.splinder.
- Poet Jacqueline Osherow is the author of five books, including "Looking for Angels in New York," "Conversations with Survivors" and "The Hoopoes Crown." She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and other prizes. She is distinguished professor of English and creative writing at the University of Utah.
- Karen Russell is the author of a collection of short stories, "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves," and the forthcoming novel "Swamplandia!" She has been featured in The Best American Short Stories and more. She teaches at Williams College.
- Greg Williamson is the author of two poetry collections, "The Silent Partner," which won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize in 1995, and "Errors in the Script," winner of the 1998 Whiting Award. He teaches in the writing seminars at Johns Hopkins University.