Acclaimed authors Bernice L. McFadden and Tyehimba Jess to read at SMU’s 2016 Kimbilio Litfest Thursday, Oct. 13

creative writing

Acclaimed authors Bernice L. McFadden and Tyehimba Jess to read at SMU’s 2016 Kimbilio Litfest Thursday, Oct. 13

Kimbilio Fiction logoLiterature fans and aspiring authors at SMU and throughout North Texas have an opportunity to meet and read with acclaimed writers Bernice L. McFadden and Tyehimba Jess at SMU’s second annual Kimbilio Litfest.

The group will meet Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. A reception will be held at 6 p.m., with readings scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Professor of English and Creative Writing Director David Haynes started the Kimbilio project in 2012 as a writers’ retreat at SMU-in-Taos. Kimbilio, which means “safe haven” in Swahili, is “a community of writers and scholars committed to developing, empowering and sustaining fiction writers from the African diaspora and their stories,” according to its mission statement.

> Learn more about Kimbilio at kimbiliofiction.com

This year’s guest authors:

Bernice L. McFaddenBernice L. McFadden is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels including Sugar, Loving Donovan, Nowhere Is a Place, The Warmest December, Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012), and Glorious, which was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. She is a three-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of three awards from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). She lives in Brooklyn, New York. McFadden will read from hter latest novel, The Book of Harlan.

Visit Bernice L. McFadden’s personal homepage: bernicemcfadden.com

Tyehimba JessTyehimba Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU alumnus, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and was a 2004-05 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. His first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” His other honors include a 2000-01 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. Olio, his second collection, was published by Wave Books in April 2016.

Visit Tyehimba Jess’ personal homepage: tyehimbajess.net

> Visit SMU’s Department of English online: smu.edu/english

October 13, 2016|Calendar Highlights, Faculty in the News, News|

2015 Kimbilio Litfest will introduce African-American fiction writers’ organization to SMU Thursday, Oct. 15

Kimbilio Fiction logoLiterature fans and aspiring authors in SMU’s Dallas neighborhood have an opportunity to get acquainted with an African-American fiction writer’s group, founded by a University faculty member, that hosts an annual retreat at SMU-in-Taos.

The inaugural Kimbilio Litfest tour stops on the main campus from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in 131 Dedman Life Sciences Building. The event is sponsored by the SMU Department of English.

2015 Kimbilio Litfest banner

“This is our first opportunity to introduce Kimbilio to Texas,” says Professor of English and Creative Writing Director David Haynes, who started Kimbilio in 2012. “These are some really extraordinary writers and readers, and we’re really excited to present this emerging national organization to Dallas and the SMU community.”

> Learn more about Kimbilio at kimbiliofiction.com

October’s guest authors include these literary lights:

  • Reginald Dwayne Betts is the author of two books and one poetry collection. Jailed at a young age, Betts spent his late teen years in solitary confinement. While in prison, he corresponded with any poet who would write him back. Once released, he earned an undergraduate degree from Maryland and then a Masters degree in writing from Warren Wilson College. He’s now in his third year at Yale Law. [More about Reginald Dwayne Betts at the Poetry Foundation]
  • Sanderia Faye is a Kimbilio Fellow and author of Mourner’s Bench (University of Arkansas Press, September 2015). Her work has appeared in various literary journals and in Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas. Faye is also a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas-Dallas. [Sanderia Faye at sanderiafaye.com]
  • Ravi Howard is the author of two novels, Driving the King (Harper, 2015) and Like Trees, Walking (Amistad, 2007), which received the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Howard has recorded commentary for NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Massachusetts Review, and Salon. [Ravi Howard on Facebook: Ravi.Howard]
  • LaToya Watkins is a Kimbilio Fellow who has has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and Kimbilio Fiction. Her stories have appeared in online and print publications including Joyland Magazine, Lunch Ticket: Antioch, Los Angeles, Kweli Journal, Ruminate Magazine and Potomac Review. Most recently, she was awarded a 2015 Pushcart Prize for short fiction. [LaToya Watkins on Twitter: @LaToyaSWatkins]
  • Rosalyn Story is a Dallas resident, Kimbilio Fellow, classical violinist, journalist and author of both fiction and nonfiction. A member of the violin section of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, she divides her time between performing and writing magazine and journal articles on the visual and performing arts. She has also penned three books – including Wading Home, which was adapted as an opera through a collaboration between SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the cities of Dallas and New Orleans. [More about Rosalyn Story at GoodReads.com]

Written by Kenny Ryan

> Visit SMU’s Department of English online: smu.edu/english

October 8, 2015|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News, Save the Date|

Prize-winning authors visit for 2012 SMU LitFest

The SMU Literary Festival, an annual event celebrating good writing, will feature readings by prize-winning authors, as well as receptions, student conferences and book signings. Sponsored by the Department of English in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, LitFest 2012 author readings will take place Thursday, March 22 through Saturday, March 24. All events are free and open to the public.

“We are beyond pleased at the level of talent in our lineup this year,” said David Haynes, head of the University’s Creative Writing Program. “This is an incredible opportunity for our students and the extended SMU community.”

Author readings will be held in the Texana Room of SMU’s DeGolyer Library. For more information and the schedule of events, visit the SMU LitFest website.

A look at this year’s featured writers:

  • Dean Bakopoulos is the author of two novels, Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon (2005) and My American Unhappiness (2011), both published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts award, and is currently a visiting professor of fiction at Grinnell College in Iowa.
  • Shannon Cain’s debut story collection, The Necessity of Certain Behaviors, is the winner of the 2011 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Her stories have been awarded the Pushcart Prize, the O. Henry Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Eduardo Corral‘s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Black Warrior Review, Huizache, Indiana Review, The Journal, Jubilat, New England Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Post Road, Quarterly West, Salt Hill and Witness. His work has been honored with a “Discovery”/The Nation award and a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarship,
  • Amina Gautier is the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for her short story collection At-Risk (University of Georgia Press). Seventy of Gautier’s stories have been published, appearing in Best African American Fiction, Callaloo, Chattahoochee Review, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, North American Review, Shenandoah, and Southern Review.
  • Tyehimba Jess’ first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” He received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and was a 2004-5 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.
  • Krys Lee is the author of recently published Drifting House. Her short stories and articles have been published or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Narrative MagazineCalifornia QuarterlyAsia Weekly and Conde Nast, UK.
  • Corey Marks, editor of American Literary Review, is author of Renunciation, a National Poetry Series selection, and The Radio Tree, a Green Rose Prize winner. His poems have appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, TriQuarterly, and The Virginia Quarterly Review.
  • Martha Rhodes is the author of four poetry collections: At the GatePerfect Disappearance (winner of the Green Rose Prize), Mother Quiet, and The Beds. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.

> Visit the SMU LitFest homepage

March 22, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

Jack Myers’ final book nominated for Pulitzer and Pushcart Prizes

Jack MyersThe Memory of Water — the final book by late SMU creative writing professor and past Poet Laureate of Texas Jack Myers — is a nominee for 2012 Pulitzer and Pushcart Prizes. The honors inspired a Portable Poetry Workshop celebration in Myers’ honor Nov. 29.

The free event on what would have been Myers’ 70th birthday was held at Paperbacks Plus in Lakewood and was sponsored by the nonprofit literary center The Writer’s Garret, which Myers helped create in 1994 with his wife, Thea Temple, and several others.

Pulitzer Prize winners for works published this year will be announced in April 2012 and honored at a luncheon in late May. Pushcart Prizes, which honor the best literary works published by small presses, also will be announced next spring.

Cover of 'The Memory of Water' by Jack Myers“Jack’s work has always been a marvel,” says William Olsen, editor of the New Issues Poetry and Prose division at Western Michigan University, publisher of The Memory of Water. “His poems are exceptional for how they can look at hard losses with a special wisdom that allows for yearning and wonder.”

Myers served the English Department in SMU’s Dedman College for more than 30 years until his death in 2009. He wrote hundreds of highly praised poems and eight books about poetry, including The Longman Dictionary of Poetic Terms and The Portable Poetry Workshop. He also edited anthologies and 10 collections of poetry. He received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and was winner of the National Poetry Series in 1985.

Excerpt

After I am gone and the ache begins
to cease 
and the slow erosion I felt,
being older than you, invades you too,
you’ll come to see that an image of the desert
is the memory of water, like remembering.

When we were walking in beautiful Barcelona
and you said you thought the trees were gods
because they were rooted in earth
and flew in the air and magically made food
out of light and made the air we breathe.

— Jack Elliott Myers, “The Memory of Water”

> Find more about Myers at SMU News

November 30, 2011|For the Record, News|

C.W. Smith receives 2011 Lon Tinkle Award from Texas Institute of Letters

C.W. SmithNovelist C.W. Smith, creative writing professor in SMU’s Dedman College, has received the 2011 Lon Tinkle Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, the state’s oldest literary organization.

The Institute announced the honor, recognizing sustained excellence in a literary career, at its meeting in Dallas in April. The organization observes its 75th anniversary this year.

Smith is the author of nine novels, including Thin Men of Haddam (Grossman/Viking, 1973), Country Music (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1975), The Vestal Virgin Room (Atheneum, 1983), Buffalo Nickel (Poseidon/Simon & Schuster, 1989), Hunter’s Trap (TCU Press, 1996), Understanding Women (TCU Press, 1998), Gabriel’s Eye (Winedale Publishing, 2001) and Purple Hearts (TCU Press, 2008).

A short-story collection, Letters From the Horse Latitudes, was published by TCU Press in 1994. Smith’s next novel, Steplings, is scheduled for publication by TCU Press in September.

Smith’s stories have appeared in Mademoiselle, Vision, Southwest Review, Sunstone Review, Carolina Quarterly, Quartet, Cimarron Review, American Literary Review, American Short Fiction and The Missouri Review, among other magazines.

He is also the author of Will They Love Me When I Leave? (Putnam, 1987), an autobiographical book about trying to stay close to his children after his first marriage ended in divorce. The book was published in paperback by Berkley in 1989 under Smith’s original title, Uncle Dad.

Previous winners of the Lon Tinkle Award include Larry McMurtry, Donald Barthelme, Marshall Terry, Horton Foote, Cormac McCarthy, Shelby Hearon, William Wittliff, David Weber and Larry L. King.

> Visit C.W. Smith’s Facebook page
> Find a complete list of previous Lon Tinkle Award winners at the Texas Institute of Letters website

May 10, 2011|News|
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