All readings and the poetry panel will be held in the Wetherill Visual Arts Center Auditorium (Room 200).
9:30 – Check-in and refreshments, 2nd floor lobby
10:30 – reading by Karen Salyer McElmurray
11:30 – poetry panel discussing student-submitted work
12:45 – Luncheon, Moody Dining Hall (pay at the door)
1:15 – roundtable session for high school writers with Hollins English and creative writing students, Mary Rowland Lounge, Moody Center, third floor
2:00 – reading by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
3:15 – reading by Ben Lerner
4:15 – reception, 2nd floor lobby
Karen Salyer McElmurray M.A. ’89 is the university’s 2014 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence. She holds an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins, as well as advanced degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Georgia. Her memoir, <em>Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey</em>, won the Associated Writers and Writing Programs Award in Creative Nonfiction and was listed as a Notable Book by the National Book Critics Circle. Her novels include <em>Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven</em>, a recipient of the Lillie Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing, and <em>The Motel of the Stars</em>, which was an Oxford American Critics Choice, received a nomination for the Weatherford Award for Fiction, and earned Lit Life’s Novel of the Year citation.
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of <em>Black Swan</em>, winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and <em>Open Interval</em>, a finalist for the National Book Award and for the<em> L.A. Times</em> Book Award. Her work has appeared in many journals, including <em>African-American Review</em>, <em>Callaloo</em>, <em>Crab Orchard Review</em>, <em>Gulf Coast</em>, and <em>Shenandoah</em>, along with the anthologies <em>Bum Rush the Page</em>, <em>Role Call</em>, <em>Gathering Ground</em>, and <em>The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South</em>. With Elizabeth Alexander, she coauthored the chapbook <em>Poems in Conversation and a Conversation</em>. She is an associate professor of English at Cornell University.
Ben Lerner, a native of Topeka, Kansas, is the author of several full-length poetry collections, including <em>The Lichtenberg Figures</em>, chosen by Library Journal as one of the year’s 12 best poetry books; <em>Angle of Yaw</em>, a finalist for the National Book Award; and <em>Me<em>an </em>Free Path</em>. His poetry has also been included in the anthologies <em>Best American Poetry, New Voices</em>, and <em>12x12: Conversations in Poetry and Poetics</em>. Lerner’s first novel, <em>Leaving the Atocha Station</em>, was named one of the best books of the year by <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>, <em>The New Yorker</em>, <em>Newsweek/The Daily Beast</em>, <em>The Boston Globe</em>, <em>The Guardian</em>, and <em>Shelf Unbound</em>. Also in 2011, he became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Münster für Internationale Poesie, an award the city of Münster, Germany, bestows every two years to the best volume of poetry translated into German.
Funding provided by the John Alexander and Mary Josephine Haynes Allen Literary Endowment, the Dee Hull Everist Visiting Speaker Series, and the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence Fund.