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UHV Announced spring reading series speakers

Dec. 17, 2011 at 6:17 a.m.


If you go

The free talks in the Spring Reading Series are scheduled to begin at noon in the Alcorn Auditorium of UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The public is invited to attend, and light refreshments will be served.

University of Houston-Victoria will continue its sixth year of the American Book Review Spring Reading Series with four authors who have won prestigious national awards and offer up prolific fiction and poetry writing.

"This reading series is recognized as one of the finest in the nation," said Jeffrey Di Leo, ABR editor/publisher and dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. "Once again, we are bringing established writers who are among the best in their fields to share knowledge and love of their craft with UHV students, faculty and staff, and the community. We think it is invaluable that students are exposed to first-rate authors, and we are glad to open up these programs and share them with the Victoria community members who graciously support our endeavors."

Karen Tei Yamashita will be the first author in the series on Jan. 26. Heralded as a "big talent" by the Los Angeles Times and praised by The New York Times and Newsday, Yamashita is one of the foremost writers of her generation. The California native is the author of "Through the Arc of the Rainforest," "Brazil-Maru," "Tropic of Orange" and "Circle K Cycles," all published by Coffee House Press. Her fifth novel, "I Hotel," took more than a decade to research and write, and was a 2010 National Book Award finalist in the fiction category.

Yamashita is the recipient of an American Book Award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Award. She previously lived in Brazil and Japan, and now teaches at the University of California-Santa Cruz, where she received the Chancellor's Award for Diversity in 2009.

"UHV and ABR welcome Ms. Yamashita, who is an innovative and energetic author with whom our students will find common ground," said Uppinder Mehan, interim chair of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences Humanities Division. "Dr. Yamashita is a relevant voice for our increasingly diverse student body, though her talents will resonate with anyone who reads her work."

Other writers taking part in the UHV/ABR Spring Reading Series are:

Tim O'Brien, Feb. 16 - Best known for his Vietnam-era war novel, "The Things They Carried," O'Brien is an American novelist who writes about his experiences in the war and the impact the war had on American servicemen who fought there. He is the winner of the 1979 National Book Award for "Going After Cacciato."

After his military service, O'Brien entered graduate school at Harvard and later worked at The Washington Post and other newspapers. He is a professor in the creative writing program at Texas State University.

Percival Everett, March 8 - The author of nearly 20 novels, three collections of short fiction and two volumes of poetry, Everett is a prolific scribe whose themes have touched on everything from sports, to westerns, to Greek mythology.

The Los Angeles-based writer's books include "Assumption," "I Am Not Sidney Poitier," "The Water Cure," "Wounded" and "Her Dark Skin," to name a few.

"Swimming Swimmers Swimming" is his newest collection of poems out on Red Hen Press.

Wayne Miller, April 26 - Kansas City-based Miller is the author of three collections of poems, "The City, Our City," "The Book of Props" and "Only the Senses Sleep."

He also works as an editor and translator of poetry, and he teaches at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, where he edits Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing.

Miller is the recipient of the George Bogin Award, the Lucille Medwick Award and the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America, as well as a Ruth Lilly Fellowship and the Bess Hokin Prize from the Poetry Foundation.

Authors who are part of the Spring Reading Series will attend roundtable discussions with UHV faculty and students, make classroom visits to area schools, give lectures open to the community, and go to receptions hosted by Friends of ABR patrons while they are in Victoria.

ABR is a nonprofit, internationally distributed literary journal that is published six times a year. It began in 1977, moved to UHV in 2007 and has a circulation of about 8,000. The journal specializes in reviews of works published by small presses.

For more information about the UHV/ABR Reading Series, call Mehan at 361-570-4178 or go to americanbookreview.org.

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