11th Annual Literary Festival
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THE COURIER, FRIDAY, SEPT. 23, 1988, PAGES 4-5
Eleventh Annual Literary Festival features outstanding lineup of national and local authors
Clarence
Major

Clarence Major is the author of seven novels, including most recently Such Was the Season (1987) and Painted Turtle: Woman With Guitar (1988) one collection of stories, Fun and Games (1988); and eight books of poetry, most recently Surfaces and Masks (1987) and Some Observations of a Stranger at Zuin in the Latter Part of the Century (1988).

He also edited the Dictionary of Afro-American Slang and The Dark and Feeling: Black American Writers and Their Work. He has won the Western States Book Award for Fiction for My Amputations, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a National Council on the Arts Fellowship. He has lectured and read from his work in England, Algeria, France, Liberia, West Germany, Ghana, Italy, the Netherlands, and Yugoslavia, as well as in this country. He is currently Professor of English at the University of Colorado.

Major's earlier work was experimental; in fact, some critics say he "has been in the forefront of experimental poetry and prose." Of his most recent novel, the New York Times Book Review said: "Such was the Season is an old-fashioned, straight-ahead narrative crammed with action, a dramatic storyline and meaty characterization. But it's the widow Annie Eliza's melodic voice, by turns lilting and gruff, that salts and peppers and sweetens this story, enriching its flavor and meaning.... Clarence Major himself come home to touch base with the blues and spirituals that continue to nourish and express the lives of those people he writes about so knowingly, and with contagious affection."

Helen
Pelton

Helen Pelton toured extensively with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company and taught at the Hawkins Studio in New York City during 1978-83. Since leaving the Hawkins Company to concentrate on her own work, she has taught and choreographed throughout the United States and Europe.

She has been Artist-in-Residence at the University of Montana, Northern Arizona University and Colorado State University. Her choreography has joined the repertories of the On The Edge Dance Company (Virginia) and Artlink Dance Company (London). She has been guest artist in London, Banyoles and Barcelona, West Berlin and Freiburg.

During 1984-86 Ms. Pelton served on the faculty of the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, where she began an association with poet Anne Waldman creating concerts of improvised and choreographed dance/poetry collaborations. She is also involved in projects with composers and video/visual artists. This fall Ms. Pelton returns to the Tidewater area for her second dual residence with the Governor's Magnet School for the Performing Arts and the On The Edge Dance Company.

Helen Pelton will dance to Waldman's poetry at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5, in the University Theatre.

Toi
Dericotte

Toi Derricotte is the author of two books of poetry, The Empress of the Death House and Natural Birth. Of her work, one reviewer said: "Good news to men and women alike: the poet offers us all a metaphor in which to see reflected our common experience of fear, pain, struggle, and ecstasy." Another added, "she grips the reader. This is powerful, an experience that separates all before from all after."

Toi Derricotte teaches creative writing at Old Dominion University. Toi Derricotte will read from her poetry at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 6, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center.

Carole
Oles

Carole Oles, a member of the Associated Writing Programs Board of Directors, is the author of three books of poetry: The Loneliness Factor (1979), Quarry (1983) and Night Watches: Inventions on the Life of Maria Mitchell (1985). Among her awards are a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, a Pushcart Prize, and two Fellowships at the MacDowell Colony. She teaches creative writing at Old Dominion University.

Carole Oles will read from her poetry at 3 p.m. on Monday, October 3, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center.

 

 

Anne
Waldman

Anne Waldman is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Fast Speaking Woman (City Lights Books, 1978) and, most recently, Skin Meat Bones (Coffee House Press, 1985) and Blue Mosque (United Artists, 1987). Of her work it has been said, "she moves through language with a simplicity and grace and respect that give her poems power, not only in the way they are written, but in what they have to say."

She is perhaps best known for hundreds of performances in which her poems have been accompanied by musicians or dancers. Critics have raved: "Make no mistake. A Waldman appearance is a performance with a capital 'P'." She has read or performed her poetry in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Venice, Bhopal, London, Glasgow, Cambridge, Vancouver, and Toronto, in addition to most of the major cities in this country. She has also read on television, film, video, and radio.

She is a winner of the Dylan Thomas Memorial Award, the Poets Foundation Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry. The influence of "Beat" poetry on her work helped lead her to become cofounder and Director of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and the MFA program in creative writing at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Anne Waldman will perform her poetry at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5, in the University Theatre; her performance will also feature dancer Helen Pelton. Waldman will give a talk on "Performance Poetry" at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 6, in the Newport News Room of the Webb Center.

Peter
Taylor

Peter Taylor is the author of two novels, A Woman of Means (1950) and A Summons to Memphis, which in 1986 won both the Pulitzer Prize and, in Paris, the $50,000 Ritz Hemingway prize for English Literature.

Best known as a short story writer, he has published seven books of short stories, beginning with A Long Fourth and Other Stories (1948) and including The Old Forest and Other Stories, which won the P.E.N./Faulkner Award in 1986. Nine stories of his appeared in the annual Best American Short Stories, and six stories appeared in the O. Henry Prize collections.

He has been described as "a Southern writer in the tradition of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor" and "one of the most accomplished short-story writers of our time." His work has also been described as "outwardly simple but psychologically complex and powerful, and under the surface of events in the regions he knows best the author discloses the universal longings of the human heart."

As a dramatist, he is the author of Tennessee Day in St. Louis (1957), Presences: Seven Dramatic Pieces (1973) and A Stand in the Mountains (1985). In 1983 he retired from the University of Virginia, though he still divides his time between Charlottesville and Key West, Florida. In 1982 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Peter Taylor will speak on "The Creative Process" at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 6, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center. He will read from his fiction at 8 p.m. that evening in the University Theatre.

Peggy
Shumaker

Peggy Shumaker is the author of two books of poetry: Esperanza's Hair (1985) and The Circle of Totems (1988). Her poems have appeared in such magazines as North American Review, Greenfield Review, Prairie Schooner, Black Warrior Review, Poetry Northwest, MSS, and Colorado Review.

A former Director of Creative Writing at Old Dominion University, she now teaches at the University of Alaska.

Peggy Shumaker will read from her poetry at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center.

Larry
Heinemann

Larry Heinemann won the National Book Award in 1987 for Paco's Story, the second book in a trilogy which began with Close Quarters. Both books had their genesis in his service with the Twenty-fifth Division in Vietnam as a combat infantryman.

Of his writing, critics have said: "Larry Heinemann tells this story as if talking aloud, at times a hip, cynical patter that contains the bitterness Paco never speaks. It's an effective voice well-suited to the Vietnam War, a fiction that rings truer than factual accounts." Others have said, "Heinemann writes about the workingman's Vietnam, exceptional for its bleak, shared, unexceptional reality." He has been called "One of America's most important writers."

Larry Heinemann has twice been the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and has twice won Illinois Arts Council Fellowships. Paco's Story also won the Carl Sandburg Literary Arts Award and the Vietnam Veterans of America Freedom to Express award, among others. His forthcoming non-fiction book about "tripwire veterans" was excerpted in the April 1985 issue of Harper's.

Larry Heinemann will give a talk titled "Vietnam Chic" at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center. He will read from his fiction at 8 p.m. that evening in the University Theatre.

Carol
Houk
Smith

Carol Houck Smith a member of the Associated Writing Programs Board of Directors, is Vice President and Senior Editor in the trade department of W.W. Norton and Company, where she edits both fiction and a broad range of nonfiction. She has been a speaker at many workshops and conferences, including the Breadloaf Summer Workshop and the annual Writers at Work Conference in Park City, Utah.

Of herself and her work as an editor, she says: "My own interests have attracted me to books about writing, and to at least one book, The Writer on Her Work, in which notable writers examine the rewards and vicissitudes of the writing life. Since I find encouraging new writers especially rewarding, I am also concerned about the vitality of the institutions that support them—the literary magazines and writing programs. Editorially I see myself as a facilitator, liaison between the aspirations of the writer and the realities of the marketplace."

Carol Houck Smith will give a talk on "The View from New York" at 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 5, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center. At 3:45 she will be joined by DeWitt Henry, Editor of Ploughs hares literary magazine, for a question-and-answer session.

DeWitt
Henry

DeWitt Henry a member of the Associated Writing Programs Board of Directors, is the author of the novel The Marriage of Anna Maye Potts, cited by the 1983-84 Sinclair Fiction Prize. He is also Cofounder and Director of Ploughshares, Inc., which publishes Ploughshares magazine and Ploughshares books, and serves as a staff editor for The Pushcart Prize.

He has won both a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Fiction and a Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines Editorial Fellowship for The Ploughshares Reader: New Fiction for the Eighties. He teaches at Emerson College in Massachusetts, where he is currently coordinator of that school's M.F.A. in Creative Writing as well as acting chair of the division of writing.

DeWitt Henry will read from his fiction at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center. He will also join W.W. Norton Senior Editor Carol Houck Smith for a question-and-answer session at 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, October 6, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center.

Bruce
Weigl

Bruce Weigh, a member of the Associated Writing Programs Board of Directors, is the author of five books of poetry: A Sackfill of Old Quarrels, Executioner, A Romance, The Monkey Wars and most recently Song of Napalm (1988).

His poetry, essays, articles and reviews have appeared in many periodicals. His work has received a Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Breadloaf Fellowship, and a Yaddo Fellowship. During 1967-68 he served with the First Air Cavalry in Vietnam; in 1985 he revisited Vietnam. A former member of the creative writing faculty at Old Dominion University, he now teaches at Pennsylvania State University.

Bruce Weigl will read from his poetry at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center.