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
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."
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.
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.
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.
Pelton will dance to Waldman's poetry at 8 p.m. on Wednesday,
October 5, in the University Theatre.
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."
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.
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.
Oles will read from her poetry at 3 p.m. on Monday, October
3, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
former Director of Creative Writing at Old Dominion University,
she now teaches at the University of Alaska.
Shumaker will read from her poetry at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October
4, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center.
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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."
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
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
Weigl will read from his poetry at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday,
October 5, in the Newport News Room of Webb Center.