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Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series Begins September 3 at Appalachian State

Authors of memoirs, poetry collections, novels and literary history comprise the speakers for the fall Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series at Appalachian State University. All programs are free and open to the public.

The series’ first author is Ishmael Beah, who wrote “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.”

Beah’s book was selected for the university’s Common Reading Program for incoming students. In addition to speaking at convocation in Holmes Convocation Center Sept. 3 at 10 a.m., he will lead off the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series with a 7:30 p.m. reading and talk in Plemmons Student Union’s Blue Ridge Ballroom.

The 2015-16 Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing, poet and editor R.T. Smith, will read from his work Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Table Rock Room. Smith earned a master’s degree from Appalachian in 1976. He is the author of the poetry collections “In the Night Orchard: New and Selected Poems,” “The Red Wolf: A Dream of Flannery O’Connor” and many others.  His afternoon craft talk, also in Table Rock Room, will be from 2-3:15 p.m.

Novelist and environmental activist Denise Giardina, author of the Appalachian classic “Storming Heaven,” will read from her work Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the student union’s Parkway Ballroom. She will give a morning craft talk in Table Rock Room from 9:30-11 a.m. Giardina’s appearance is co-sponsored by the Appalachian Studies Program.

Black Mountain College literary historians William C. Rice and Katherine Chaddock will read from their work Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the student union’s Parkway Ballroom. Rice is director of the Division of Education Programs of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the author of “Public Discourse & Academic Inquiry.” Rice is the grandson of Black Mountain College founder John Andrew Rice. Chaddock is a distinguished professor emerita from the University of South Carolina and the author of John Andrew Rice’s biography, “Visions and Vanities: John Andrew Rice of Black Mountain College.

This program, sponsored by Watauga Residential College, in collaboration with Carol Grotnes Belk Library, is part of Watauga Residential College’s ongoing series, The Back Mountain Lectures.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank (class of 1968), 2013 Appalachian Alumni Association Outstanding Service award recipient, past trustee, and generous supporter of the university.

The Visiting Writers Series is also supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation, Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, the Summer Reading Program, the University Bookstore, Belk Library, and the Appalachian Journal. Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Restaurant. Community sponsors include John and the late Margie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin and The High Country Writers.

Parking is free on campus after 5 p.m. Event organizers recommend those attending the series use the College Street Parking Deck (from King Street, turn down College Street at the First Baptist Church), which opens to the public weekdays at 5:30 p.m. To reach the student union, cross College Street and follow the walkway between the chiller plant and the University Bookstore, passing the Post Office and entering the Student Union on the second floor.

For further parking information or a map, visit http://parking.appstate.edu or call the Parking and Traffic Office at 828-262-2878. A campus map showing Plemmons Student Union is online at http://studentunion.appstate.edu/pagesmith/54.

For additional information on the Visiting Writers Series season, email VWS@appstate.edu. To receive Appalachian’s “This Week in the Arts” announcements by email, contact  arts-events@appstate.edu.