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Acclaimed novelist Jonathan Franzen to visit campus
February 8, 2012Tweet
The Binghamton Center for Writers’ spring series of events will be headlined by the winners of the Binghamton Book Awards in Fiction and Poetry. Jonathan Franzen, National Book Award winner and New York Times-bestselling author, received the John Gardner Fiction Book Award for his novel “Freedom,” while C.K. Williams, a Pulitzer Prize winner as well as a National Book Award winner, was awarded the Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award for his collection, “Wait.” Both will be visiting Binghamton University in March. All of the events are free and open to the public.
Jonathan Franzen’s reading will be at 6:15 p.m. March 7 in the Mandela Room of the University Union. Books will be available for sale and a book signing will follow the reading. The author of four novels (“Freedom,” “The Corrections,” “Strong Motion,” and “The Twenty-Seventh City”), Franzen has attracted a list of prestigious honors and recognitions from New York Times bestselling author to National Book Award winner to Oprah’s Book Club pick (twice). Last year when “Freedom” was published, Time Magazine featured Franzen on its cover, along with the tagline “Great American Novelist.”
Franzen’s appearance will be the only one scheduled in that time slot. The other four events of the series will be on specific Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. in S1-149.
The Binghamton Center for Writers’ Spring Readers’ Series will open on Feb. 21 with a visit from Minrose Gwin. Gwin is the author of the novel “The Queen of Palmyra,” a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers pick, and also the memoir “Wishing for Snow” (both from HarperCollins). “The Queen of Palmyra” has been praised as “the most powerful and lyrical novel about race, racism, and denial in the American South since To Kill a Mockingbird.” It is a story about knowing, and not knowing, brutality and tenderness, set in Civil Rights-era Mississippi.
Franzen’s event will follow Gwin’s and then at 8 p.m. March 20, the Center will welcome C.K. Williams, winner of the 2011 Milt Kessler Binghamton Poetry Book Award for his latest collection, “Wait.” Author of nearly a dozen books of poetry and five books of translations, Williams is the recipient of the National Book Award (for “The Singing,” 2003), the Pulitzer Prize (for “Repair,” 1999), and the National Book Critics Circle Award (for “Flesh and Blood,” 1987).
On April 17 the Readers’ Series will feature Binghamton University alumnus Katherine Arnoldi, the author of the Juniper Award-winning short story collection, “All Things Are Labor,” as well as the multiple award-winning graphic novel, “The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom.” Arnoldi is newly returned from a Fulbright Fellowship year in Paraguay researching the Mennonite community there for the new novel she is working on.
The final reader in the Spring Readers’ Series will be poet Marilyn Nelson on April 24. Nelson has just been named recipient of The Poetry Society of America’s highest award, the Frost Medal, presented annually for “distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.” She is the author or translator of 14 books, including “The Cachoeira Tales, and Other Poems”; “The Fields of Praise,” which was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the National Book Award, and the PEN Winship Award; and “The Homeplace,” which won the 1992 Annisfield-Wolf Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her biography, “Carver,” includes poems about her own father’s experience as a Tuskegee Airman.
In addition to the Readers’ Series, the Center for Writers, with the support of the Dean of Harpur College of Arts and Science, will offer a “doubleheader” Writing Life event from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, with Vivian Shipley of Connecticut Review and Jim Reese of Paddlefish, in UU-252 (located near the Susquehanna Room). The Writing Life Series features an informal conversation with working writer/ editors discussing craft, publishing and the writing life. It is an opportunity for students, faculty and community members to learn about publishing and to meet directly with editors. Connecticut Review is a literary magazine associated with the Connecticut State University system; they publish poetry, short fiction, and essays, while Paddlefish, the national literary journal from Mount Marty College, publishes poetry, short/short fiction or non-fiction (1,500 words or less), graphic fiction, nonfiction, illustrated essays, graphic memoir and narrative documentary photography in all genres and styles.