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Gurney Norman, Fiction Writer, Editor and Cultural Advocate, Reading and Signing Oct. 4 at Appalachian

Sept. 27, 2012. Writer Gurney Norman will read from his work Oct. 4 at Appalachian State University. Norman is the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing for 2012 in Appalachian’s Department of English. He will speak as part of the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

Norman will present the talk “Was Steve Jobs a Hillbilly?” from 3:30-4:45 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Table Rock Room. A pre-reading reception will begin at 6 p.m. in the student union’s Multicultural Room, with the reading to follow at 7:30 p.m. in Table Rock Room. Admission is free and the campus and local community are invited to attend. Book sales and signing will follow the craft talk and reading.

Norman is a professor of English and creative writing teacher at the University of Kentucky. He was Kentucky’s poet laureate from 2009-10.

His first novel, “Divine Right’s Trip,” appeared serially in the Last Whole Earth Catalog and was published by Dial Press and Bantam Books in 1972. His story collections include “Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories” (Gnomon Press, 1977) and “Book One from Crazy Quilt: A Novel in Progress” (Larkspur Press, 1990).

He wrote and narrated three films on Kentucky heritage produced by Kentucky Educational Television. His work as an editor includes “Old Wounds, New Words” (Jesse Stuart Foundation, 1994), “Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes: Back Talk from an American Region” (University Press of Kentucky, 1999), and “An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature” (Ohio University Press, 2005).

Norman is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. He received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing from Stanford University. He serves as senior writer-in-residence for the annual Appalachian Writers Workshop in Hindman, Ky. He has received recognition for his work as a fiction writer, filmmaker and cultural advocate and has been a mentor to aspiring writers for the past 40 years.

The Fall 2012 Visiting Writers Series is 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 Marjorie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin, and The High Country Writers.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank, class of 1968, trustee and generous supporter of Appalachian State University. 

To read online excerpts from the visiting writers’ works, visit http://library.appstate.edu, click Reserves, and then enter “Visiting Writers Series” as the instructor or course name. If needed, use the password asuwriters.

Parking is free on campus after 5 p.m. The College Street parking deck adjacent to Belk Library and Information Commons provides the closest access to the student union.

For more parking information or a map, please see http://parking.appstate.edu or call the Parking and Traffic Office 828-262-2878.

For further information on the fall season, call 828-262-2871 or see http://visitingwriters.appstate.edu. To receive Appalachian’s “This Week in the Arts” announcements by email, contact arts-events@appstate.edu.