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Gurney Norman October 29 Talk
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Kentucky Poet Laureate Gurney Norman to Speak Thursday Night

Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 [11:47 AM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Kentucky Poet Laureate Gurney Norman will speak Thursday night at Lindsey Wilson College.

Norman will present "New Kentucky Fiction: A Reading" at 7 p.m. CT Thursday, Oct. 29, in Lindsey Wilson's W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall. His talk -- which is part of the 2009-10 Lindsey Wilson Cultural Affairs Series -- is free and open to the public.

Norman will present "New Kentucky Fiction: A Reading" at 7 p.m. CT Thursday, Oct. 29, in Lindsey Wilson's W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall. His talk -- which is part of the 2009-10 Lindsey Wilson Cultural Affairs Series -- is free and open to the public.

Norman will present a one-hour reading from his forthcoming books, Ancient Creek and Other Folktales and Crazy Quilt.

Ancient Creek is contemporary fiction in the guise of a folktale from the Kentucky-Appalachian tradition. An evil king seeks to erase the community memories of local people for whom storytelling has been the sustaining source. The resistance to the king's oppressive rule is led by Jack, the hero of the traditional Jack Tales.

Crazy Quilt continues the adventures of Wilgus Collier, the young protagonist of Norman's book of short stories, Kinfolks. In Crazy Quilt, Wilgus is a middle-aged editor and publisher of a small weekly newspaper in Kentucky. At age 53, he reflects on his own life transition and social changes in contemporary America.

Over the past 35 years, Norman has had an immense impact upon the literary life Appalachia. His work has discouraged class chauvinism and encouraged inclusion regardless of class; he has worked to include people of all ethnic backgrounds, especially African-American writers, in the regional literary canon; and he has encouraged the unity of creative expression and progressive politics.

A native of Grundy, Va., Norman grew up in Eastern Kentucky. After earning a degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky, Norman received a prestigious Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, where he studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner, the critic Malcolm Cowley and the Irish short story writer Frank O'Connor

Since 1979, Norman has been a member the UK faculty as a teacher of creative writing. He is a founding member of the Southern Appalachian Writer's Cooperative and, since its beginning in 1978, a teacher and supporter of the Appalachian Writers Workshop at Hindman (Ky.) Settlement School. Norman also teaches for and facilitates the work of the New Opportunity School for Women in Berea, Ky. 

Kentucky Poet Laureate Gurney Norman will present "New Kentucky Fiction: A Reading" at 7 p.m. CT Thursday, Oct. 29, in the Lindsey Wilson College W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cultural Affairs Chair Phil Hanna at hannap@lindsey.edu or (270) 384-8250.

 

 

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