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Alum Lady Reading

Moonseok Choi here. Who is Moon? He’s a new MFA student in poetry who likes dogs. He works at the Creative Writing office from Monday to Wednesday. He left Seoul, South Korea, with a keyboard in one hand and mouse in the other to say to you all – Nice to meet you.

But that’s not important. Listen carefully to what I have to say. Kelly Kerney, Courtney McDermott, Janet McNally, and Lindsay Starck are coming to the Hospitality Room of Reckers. The rain has told me they’ll be here on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, from 7:30PM to 9:00PM. It also triggered the fire alarm in my apartment twice in the same night but that’s a story for another day. The squirrels whisper that they will read selections from their latest books. There are quite a lot of them on campus, and they seem to be losing their fear of humans —

Anyways, this is important because they are very smart and incredible.  Kelly Kerney won the Sparks Prize Fellowship in 2004 and is a Virginia Commission for the Arts fellowship recipient. Her first novel, Born Again, is about an evangelical Christian who comes to terms with evolution. Hard Red Spring covers a century of Guatemalan history experienced by four American women linked by the disappearance of a little girl. How many people can write books on the struggles of a Christian and troubles in Guatemala?

Courtney McDermott coordinates faculty at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She’s also an adjunct faculty member for the online Master’s in Creative Writing program at Southern New Hampshire University. If minds aren’t blown yet, How They Spend Their Sundays is her debut, a collection of stories taking place in Lesotho and South Africa. She paints a “brutally honest but compassionate portrait of endurance in the face of relentless violence and human injustice.” Don’t those words just get your heart pounding?

Janet McNally transfers knowledge at Canisius College in New York. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in a list of publications longer than my average poem. Girls in the Moon is another debut, a tale for young adults about family secrets, the shadow of fame, and finding your own way. No, I’m not going to make a pun with my name.

Lindsay Starck is getting a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina. For the past four years she has been fiction editor of the Carolina Quarterly, and as of 2014 is now chieftain (editor). Noah’s Wife is a novel that draws upon the flood of the bible to ask whether hope can exist even where faith has been lost. If you want to know the answer, you must come to Reckers.

It’s not often you get to hear smart people reading. Especially on a university campus. So clear your schedule on the 14th of September. Come with an open mind if you don’t want it wrenched open.  I’ll see you there.

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