Stephen Corey, poet, essayist and editor of “The Georgia Review,” will open the 2008-2009 season of Converse College’s Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Visiting Writers Series with a public reading of his works on September 23 at 8 pm. The reading, which is free and open to public, will be held in the Cleveland Hall Alumnae House. The series is made possible by Converse’s Creative Writing program.
“Many readers know Stephen Corey as one of the top literary editors working today,” said Richard Mulkey, Associate Professor and Director of Creative Writing at Converse. “Poets, novelists and essayists have a great deal of respect for the work he has done as associate editor and editor of the nationally acclaimed magazine, ‘The Georgia Review.’ But Corey is also an accomplished and respected poet and essayist. Converse students will have that rare opportunity to speak and work with a real person of letters, and individual who strides both sides of the literary world.”
Through the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Visiting Writers Endowment, Converse students are able to interact with many literary scholars during their on-campus visits. Recent writers who have been a part of the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Visiting Writers Series include Joyce Carol Oates, Ann Pancake and Ann Patchett. Further distinguishing Converse’s literary leadership are the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Creative and Professional and the recently unveiled low-residency Masters in Fine Art in Creative Writing–the only majors of their kind in the state of South Carolina.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Corey developed a passion and talent reading at a young age, which ultimately set him on the path to becoming a writer. “Things catch your attention and you discover that you have a certain facility for writing. At some point over a number of years, you look back and think ‘maybe this is what I do,’” said Corey. He earned his BA and MA from the State University of New York at Binghamton. In 1979, he went on to receive his PhD in English from the University of Florida.
While earning his PhD, he began a literary journal entitled “The Devil’s Millhopper” and served as Co-Editor until 1981, when he began editing it single-handedly. In 1983, he began working at “The Georgia Review” as the Assistant Editor and later as associate editor. He would eventually be named Acting Editor in 1998.
As the Editor of “The Georgia Review,” Corey reads manuscripts that come in and works on pieces that are favored. In addition, he continues to write poetry and essays of his own.
During his reading at Converse, Corey will read from a wide variety of his own work, both old and new. As a growing writer, he wants to make sure that he introduces the new material but does not abandon his old. Books will be available for sell and signing on the evening of the reading.