Monday, July 30, 2012

7/30/2012 - Andre Dubus III, Steven Harvey, Robert Root, and Ruth L. Schwartz


We're ready for another full day of writers and writing... are you?

Today's Events:

"Authentic Curiosity: the Most Neglected Tool of the Creative Nonfiction Writer" - Andre Dubus III

1-2:30 p.m., Schar College of Education, Room 138, Ashland University

Reading by Steven Harvey, Robert Root, and Ruth L. Schwartz

7 p.m., Schar College of Education, Room 138, Ashland University

Coming Tomorrow:
JC Hallman, Stephen Haven, Mark Irwin, Joe Mackall, and Robert Root

About Today's Presenters:


Andre Dubus III


Andre Dubus III grew up in mill towns on the Merrimack River along the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. He began writing fiction at age 22 just a  few months after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. Because he prefers to write in the morning, going from “the dream world to the dream world”, as the Irish writer Edna O'Brien puts it, he took mainly night jobs: bartender, office cleaner, halfway house counselor, and for six months worked as an assistant to a private investigator/bounty hunter. Over the years he's also worked as a self-employed carpenter and college writing teacher.

Andre Dubus III is the author of a collection of short fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, and the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of Last Days, a New York Times bestseller. His memoir, Townie, was published in February 2011 with W.W. Norton & Co. His work has been included in The Best American Essays of 1994, The Best Spiritual Writing of 1999, and The Best of Hope Magazine. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for fiction, The Pushcart Prize, and was a Finalist for the Rome Prize Fellowship from the Academy of Arts and Letters.

An Academy Award-nominated motion picture and published in twenty languages, his novel House of Sand and Fog was a fiction finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Booksense Book of the Year, and was an Oprah Book Club Selection and #1 New York Times bestseller. A member of PEN American Center, Andre Dubus III has served as a panelist for The National Book Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and has taught writing at Harvard University, Tufts University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he is a full-time faculty member. He is married to  performer Fontaine Dollas Dubus. They live in Massachusetts with their three children.

Steven Harvey

Steven Harvey is the author of Bound for Shady Grove (University of Georgia Press, 2000), a collection of personal essays about his experiences learning to sing and play the traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains where he lives. He is also the author of two other collections of personal essays, A Geometry of Lilies (University of South Carolina Press, 1993) and Lost in Translation (University of Georgia Press, 1997), and the editor of In a Dark Wood: Personal Essays by Men on Middle Age (University of Georgia Press, 1996).

Harvey is Professor of English at Young Harris College. He received his Ph.D. in literature from the University of Virginia. He has published pieces in many magazines such as Harper's, DoubleTake, The Georgia Review, The Fourth Genre, River Teeth and Creative Nonfiction, and has been anthologized in In Short, Life Studies, The Fourth Genre, Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction and other collections. He is a former Governor's appointee to the board of the Georgia Humanities Council and a book reviewer for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper.

Robert Root

Robert Root is the author of Postscripts: Retrospections on Time and Place (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), Recovering Ruth: A Biographer’s Tale (University of Nebraska Press, 2002), and Following Isabella: Travels in Colorado Then and Now (University of Oklahoma Press, 2009) as well as The Nonfictionist’s Guide: On Reading and Writing Creative Nonfiction (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007) and E. B. White: The Emergence of an Essayist (University of Iowa Press, 1998). He is the editor of Landscapes With Figures: The Nonfiction of Place (Nebraska, 2007), a book of essays of place and commentaries by authors, and the co-editor of the anthology The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (Longman, 2009), now in its sixth edition. He is also the author or editor of nine other books and is the Interview/Roundtable editor for the journal Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction.


Root has taught at Central Michigan University, the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, and the Loft Writers Workshop in Minneapolis. His article “Collage, Montage, Mosaic, Vignette, Episode, Segment,” from The Fourth Genre, is often assigned in creative nonfiction courses across the country. An essay on writing and teaching, “A Double Life,” published in Writing on the Edge, won the 2007 Donald Murray Award for Best Essay on Writing and/or Teaching.

His essays have been published in many literary journals: “Knowing Where You’ve Been,” in Ascent, was named a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2004; “The Pattern of Life Indelible,” in Ecotone, was listed in 2007; “Postscript to a Postscript to ‘The Ring of Time’,” in The Pinch was listed in 2010, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and given the Council of Wisconsin Writers Short Nonfiction Award. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Isle Royale National Park. He lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Ruth L. Schwartz

Ruth L. Schwartz is the author of five books of poems: Miraculum (Autumn House Press, 2012), Dear Good Naked Morning (Autumn House Press, 2005), selected by Alicia Ostriker for the 2004 Autumn House Poetry Prize; Edgewater (HarperCollins, 2002), a National Poetry Series winner chosen by Jane Hirshfield; Singular Bodies (Anhinga Press, 2001), recipient of the 2000 Anhinga Prize for Poetry; and Accordion Breathing and Dancing (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996), winner of the 1994 Associated Writing Programs Competition. Ruth is also the author of a memoir, Death in Reverse: A Love Story (Michigan State University Press, 2004), and her creative nonfiction has appeared in the Utne Reader, The Sun, and numerous anthologies.

Recipient of over a dozen national writing awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Astraea Foundation, Ruth is also a lifelong explorer of consciousness and healing. In addition to her M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Ruth has a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology, and offers workshops and retreats nationwide on the theme “The Writer As Shaman: Words as a Portal to the Soul."

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