MURRAY, Ky. — The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Murray State University will host two authors during its January 2018 Residency Reading Series, including Marlin Barton and Kayla Rae Whitaker.

Barton, recipient of the 2016 Truman Capote Prize for short fiction, will read from his work Monday, Jan. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Waterfield Library Gallery on the Murray State campus. A book-signing and reception will follow the reading. This event is free and open to the public.

Barton has published two collections of short stories, “The Dry Well” and “Dancing by the River,” in addition to two novels, “A Broken Thing” and “The Cross Garden.” His stories have also appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including “Shenandoah,” “The Southern Review,” “The Sewanee Review,” “Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards” and “The Best American Short Stories.” His most recent collection of short stories is “Pasture Art,” which Publishers Weekly called “a captivating third collection . . .  reminiscent of Larry Brown’s gritty Southern storytelling.”

Whitaker, a Kentucky native and novelist, will read from her work Thursday, Jan. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Waterfield Library Gallery on the Murray State campus. A book-signing and reception will follow the reading. This event is free and open to the public.

Whitaker’s work has appeared in Buzzfeed, Literary Hub, Joyland, Bodega and other venues. Her debut novel, “The Animators,” was released by Random House in 2017. Called “unusual and appealing” by The New York Times and hailed as “a dazzling debut filled with smart women” by The Guardian, “The Animators” has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, the Hollywood Reporter, O Magazine and People as well as named a spring 2017 Barnes & Noble Discovery Selection. Whitaker was also featured on Publishers Weekly’s spring 2017 Writers to Watch list. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and an MFA from New York University. A native Kentuckian, she returned to her home state last year after seven years in New York City. She currently lives in Louisville.

For further information about the readings, please contact Dr. Carrie Jerrell at cjerrell1@murraystate.edu.

An official headshot of Marlin Barton.
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Murray State University will host two authors during its January 2018 Residency Reading Series, including Marlin Barton.
An official headshot of Kayla Rae Whitaker.
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Murray State University will host two authors during its January 2018 Residency Reading Series, including Marlin Barton and Kayla Rae Whitaker.
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