Through the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Visiting Writers Series, award-winning writers and scholars from a variety of genres visit the Converse College campus each year to give free public readings and interact with students of literature and creative writing.
The 2003-’04 season will feature Ellen Bryant Voigt, Leslie Pietryzk, Kathryn Stripling Byer, and Marlin Barton. All public readings are free of charge and will be held in the Cleveland Hall Alumnae House across Main Street from the Converse campus.
Converse has offered the Visiting Writer Series for many years, and this year has expanded its creative writing opportunities for students by offering the state’s only bachelor of fine arts degree program in creative and professional writing. For more information, contact Richard Mulkey by calling (864) 596-9099 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ellen Bryant Voigt; Oct. 8; 8 p.m.
A Converse College alumna, Voigt is the author of six collections of poetry. Her work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Nation, and many literary journals. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund. In 2002, the Academy of American Poets named her the recipient of the 67th Academy of American Poets Merrill Fellowship.
Leslie Pietryzk; Nov. 11; 8 p.m.
Pietryzk is author of Pears on a Willow Tree and A Year and a Day. In addition to her books, she has authored stories for TriQuarterly, Iowa Review, and New England Review. Pietryzk is the 2003 Julia Peterkin Award winner, a national contest established by the Converse Department of English and the Creative Writing Program to honor the finest young poets and writers in America. The award is named for Converse graduate Julia Mood Peterkin who won the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for Scarlet Sister Mary. To this day, she is the only South Carolinian to have won the Pulitzer.
Kathryn Stripling Byer; Jan. 20; 8 p.m.
Byer is author of The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest (Association of Writers & Writing Programs Poetry Winner), Wildwood Flower (Lamont Poetry Prize Selection), Black Shawl, and Catching Light. Her books are available through LSU Press. Byer was also Poet-in-Residence at Western Carolina University (1990-98). She will serve as the Sara Lura Mathews Self Distinguished Writer in Residence at Converse during January Term.