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Lenoir-Rhyne announces Visiting Writers Series 30th Anniversary Season
Lenoir-Rhyne announces Visiting Writers Series 30th Anniversary Season

In celebration of its 30th Anniversary Season, Lenoir-Rhyne's Visiting Writers Series has announced the 2018-19 season of authors, beginning with Laila Lalami, on September 27, 2018, in P.E. Monroe Auditorium at 7 p.m.

For the past 30 years, LR's VWS has provided outstanding literary arts programming that is free and open to the public. This year's season includes a culturally diverse group of writers, including Lalami, a Moroccan-American novelist and essayist. As this year's Campus Read author, all freshman students will read her book "Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits." Lalami has written two other books, including "Secret Son" and "The Moor's Account." Her essays have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Los Angeles Times. She has been a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and has won the American Book Award and the Arab-American Book Award. Lalami has previously been a recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, and she currently teaches creative writing at the University of California Riverside.

The 2018-19 VWS season will continue with the following authors:

October 4, 2018

Li-Young Lee

Belk Centrum, 7 p.m.

Li-Young Lee began writing poetry when he was a student at the University of Pittsburgh, and he has since written five collections of poetry, a memoir, and a collection of interviews about his artistic development. His poetry and collections have won many awards, including the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Poetry Award, the Laughlin Award, and the William Carlos Williams Award. He has taught at several universities, including Northwestern and the University of Iowa. Lee also won a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, received a Fellowship from the American Academy of Poets, and received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from State University of New York at Brockport.

October 25, 2018

Ken Liu

P.E. Monroe Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Ken Liu is the author of three novels and one collection of short stories, as well as a translator of several Chinese works. His fiction has appeared in several magazines, including Asimov's, Analog, Clarkesworld, and Lightspeed. His debut book, "The Grace of Kings," won the Locus Best First Novel Award and was a Nebula finalist. His translation of "The Three-Body Problem" by Liu Cixin won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015. Liu was also the editor of "Invisible Planets," which was the first collection of contemporary Chinese science fiction that was translated to English.

November 8, 2018

Matthias Göritz and Aaron Coleman

Belk Centrum, 7 p.m.

Matthias Göritz is the author of three collections of poetry, two novellas, and two novels. He has been the recipient of many awards, including the Hamburg Literature Prize, the Robert Gernhardt Prize, and the William Glass Award. He has been the writer-in-residence at Bard College in Dutchess County, New York, and a guest author at the University of Iowa's International Writing Program. Göritz gave the Keynote speech opening the 2015 DAKAM Conference on memory and literature.

Aaron Coleman is working toward his doctorate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is on the Comparative Literature Program's International Writers' Track. He is the author of two collections of poetry and has been published in journals such as Boston Review, FENCE, and New York Times Magazine. Coleman has been a Cave Canem Fellow and Fulbright Scholar, and has won awards such as the Button Poetry Prize and the Cincinnati Review Schiff Award.

November 15, 2018

Juan Felipe Herrera

Belk Centrum, 7 p.m.

Juan Felipe Herrera was the United States Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017. He has published over thirty books and was awarded the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. While serving as California's Poet Laureate, he started the anti-bullying poetry project called the i-Promise Joanna Project, which asks students to both take action against bullying and to send in poems about bullying. Herrera has taught at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, University of California Riverside, and served as chair of the Chicano and Latin American Studies Department at California State University, Fresno.

January 21, 2019

Joshua Bennett

Belk Centrum, 7 p.m.

Joshua Bennett is a performance poet who has been featured on HBO's Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices. Bennett is a recipient of the Marshall Fellowship and Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. He recently received a doctorate degree in English from Princeton University. Bennett won the 2015 National Poetry Series and has been published in multiple magazines, including Boston Review and The Kenyon Review. He published his first book, "The Sobbing School," in 2016.

February 7, 2019

Armistead Maupin

P.E. Monroe Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Armistead Maupin grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has served as a naval officer and worked as reporter in South Carolina and California. Maupin began publishing his "Tales of the City" in 1976, which grew into a six volume series. In addition to the series, Maupin is the author of several other books, including "Maybe the Moon," "The Night Listener," and "Michael Tolliver Lives." "The Night Listener" was adapted into a feature film and the first three volumes of "Tales" were adapted into a miniseries. Maupin has received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Trevor Project's Life Award, and the Visionary Award, among others.

February 28, 2019

Ann-Marie Fyfe & Cahal Dallat – Writers in Residence

Belk Centrum, 7 p.m.

Anne-Marie Fyfe is the author of five collections of poetry and former chair of the National Poetry Society. Fyfe is the founder of the Troubadour International Poetry Prize and established Coffee-House Poetry at the Troubadour, a program that organizes poetry readings, seminars, and workshops. She has been Aldeburgh's Poetry Trust Writer-in-Residence and the winner of the Academi Cardiff International Poetry Competition. She has taught at numerous workshops, including the creative writing section of the John Hewitt International Summer School.

Cahal Dallat is a poet and musician whose works have been published in numerous journals and magazines, including Oxford Poetry, Poetry London, Cimarron Review, and Ocean State Review. He won the 2006 Strokestown International Poetry Competition and the 2017 Keats-Shelley Memorial Prize, among other awards. Dallat was the 2017 musician/poet in residence at Charles Causley's house in Cornwall and a John-Hewitt Society committee member. Dallat is married to Fyfe, and the couple lives in London.

Both Fyfe and Dallat are 2018-19 VWS writers in residence and will teach a creative writing class in poetry at LR during the fall semester. The couple also plans to travel throughout the community presenting their works and engaging with citizens.

March 7, 2019

Louise Penny

P.E. Monroe Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Louise Penny is a Canadian mystery novel author whose works have been translated into more than 25 languages. She has won numerous awards for her work, including six Agatha Awards, The British Dagger Award, The American Anthony Award, and the Barry Award. Before she began writing full time, she worked as a journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She serves as the Patron for the Yamaska Literacy Council and currently lives and writes in a small village south of Montreal.

March 21, 2019

Kao Kalia Yang

Belk Centrum, 7 p.m.

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American author of two novels and one forthcoming children's book. Her first book, "The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir," won the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Readers Choice. It was also a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Asian Literary Award in Nonfiction. Her second book, "The Song Poet," won the 2016 Minnesota Book Award in Creative Nonfiction Memoir. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, a PEN USA Award in Nonfiction, and the Dayton's Literary Peace Prize. Yang has taught at numerous institutions, including Columbia University in New York, Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

April 3 – 6, 2019

Naomi Shihab Nye

P.E. Monroe Auditorium

Thursday, April 4, 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 6, 12 p.m.

Naomi Shihab Nye is the author of this year's Little Read book, "The Turtle of Oman." The novel follows the story of Aref Al-Amri, a boy who doesn't want to move with his family to Ann Arbor, Michigan, from his hometown of Muscat, Oman. He refuses to pack and instead goes on a series of adventures with his grandfather that help Aref build up memories of home. "The Turtle of Oman" is widely awarded; it won the 2015 Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature and was named a 2015 Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association. Over the past forty years Nye has taught writing workshops across the globe and has authored and/or edited short story collections, poetry collections, picture books, novels, and essays. She is recipient of numerous awards, including the Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, four Pushcart Prizes, and the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award.

Sponsors of the 2018-19 VWS include: Barnes & Noble, NC Arts Council, United Arts Council of Catawba County, National Endowment for the Arts, Crowne Plaza, Café Rule, Hickory Public Library, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Robert Abbey Fine Lighting.

To learn more about the VWS visit