The Murray State University M.F.A. in Creative Writing (master of fine arts program) has announced its line-up of guest writers for its July 5–13 residency. All readings are free and open to the public and will be held in the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery in the Doyle Fine Arts Building on campus.
Claire Vaye Watkins, whose stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, Paris Review and Ploughshares, will read on Saturday, July 6, at 7 p.m. Her collection of short stories, Battleborn (Riverhead Books), won the 2012 Story Prize, the 2013 Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Battleborn was also named a Best Book of 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Time Out New York and Flavorwire, and a Best Short Story Collection by NPR.org. In 2012, the National Book Foundation named Watkins one of the “5 Best Writers Under 35.” Following the reading, the public is invited to a reception and book signing at the Faculty Club.
Marcus Wicker, whose work has appeared in Poetry, Beloit, Third Coast and Ninth Letter, among other journals, will read on Sunday, July 7, at 7 p.m. His first book, Maybe the Saddest Thing, published in October 2012 by Harper Collins, was selected by D.A. Powell for the National Poetry Series. The recipient of a 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Wicker has also held fellowships from Cave Canem, the Fine Arts Work Center and Indiana University where he received his M.F.A. A reception and book signing will follow in the Faculty Club and is open to the public.
The series will culminate on Wednesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. with the appearance of Davy Rothbart, creator of Found Magazine, a frequent contributor to public radio’s This American Life, and the author of a book of personal essays, My Heart Is An Idiot and a collection of stories, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. He writes regularly for GQ Magazine and Grantland, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Believer. His documentary film, Medoro, about a resilient high-school basketball team in a dwindling town in rural Indiana, premiered in March 2013 at the SXSW Film Festival. Rothbart is also the founder of Washington II Washington, an annual hiking adventure for inner-city kids. He splits his time between Los Angeles and his hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Alumni Reading will be on Saturday, July 6, at 3 p.m. in the Eagle Gallery and will feature Larry O. Dean reading from his first book, Brief Nudity, published in 2013. Dean, a poet, singer and songwriter, is an adjunct English instructor and works as Poet-in-Residence in the Chicago Public Schools through the Poetry Center of Chicago.
The authors’ books will be for sale in the gallery following the readings.