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Visiting Writers Series hosts Kelly Cherry for Oct. 7 reading

BOONE—kellycherry_t.jpgFiction writer, poet and memoirist Kelly Cherry is the guest author for the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series Oct. 7 at Appalachian State University.

Cherry also is the Rachel Rivers-Coffey distinguished professor of creative writing for fall semester.

Cherry’s reading and talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Table Rock Room. In addition she will present the craft talk “The Short-Short Story” from 3:30-4:45 p.m., also in Table Rock Room. Books will be available for sale and signing.

A pre-reading reception for Cherry will be held from 6-7:15 p.m. in the student union’s Multicultural Center.

Admission to all events is free. Book sales and signing will follow the events. For further information on the fall series, call 262-2871 or visit To receive Appalachian’s “This Week in the Arts” announcement by e-mail, contact

Cherry is professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  She has published 19 books of fiction, poetry and nonfiction, eight chapbooks and translations of two classical plays.

In her memoir “Writing the World,” Cherry assures readers that, “Words will take you anywhere.” Her work has taken her around the world, including Latvia, the Philippines, England, Scotland, Yalta, and most of the United States.  Her work has been translated into Russian, Latvian, Chinese, Czech, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Lithuanian, and Ukranian. Despite all her traveling, she admits, “My great ambition in life is a screened porch on which to write my poems, which might be a lighthearted metaphor.”

Other recent publications are “The Retreats of Thought: Poems” and “Girl in a Library: On Women Writers and the Writing Life.” A collection of stories, “The Woman Who,” is forthcoming from Boson Books.

Her short fiction has been reprinted in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and New Stories from the South. Her short fiction has won three PEN/Syndicated Fiction Awards.  In 2000, her collection “The Society of Friends: Stories,” received the Dictionary of Literary Biography Award for the best volume of short stories published in 1999.  She was the first recipient of the Hanes Poetry Prize for a body of work from the Fellowship of Southern Writers and her collection “Hazard and Prospect: New and Selected Poems” was a finalist for The Poets’ Prize.

Her creative work has been published in almost 200 anthologies, and she has published well over 100 reviews.  Recently invited to serve as an Elector of The Poets’ Corner at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine for a term of five years, she also received a Rockefeller Foundation grant to work on a poetry manuscript in progress. In summer 2010, she was a director’s visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Honoring the late newspaperwoman and writer Rachel Rivers-Coffey, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professorship in Creative Writing annually sponsors the residency of a writer of national prominence at Appalachian. This position rotates among various distinguished authors of all creative genres; distinguished professors teach a creative writing seminar, conduct community outreach and other off-campus activities, and are featured annually in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

The Fall 2010 Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation; Appalachian’s Offices of Academic Affairs, Multicultural Student Development, and Cultural Affairs; the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, the Summer Reading Program, the University Bookstore, and The Appalachian Journal. Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Restaurant. Community sponsors include John and Marjorie Idol, Mildred Luckhardt, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin, and The High Country Writers.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank, class of 1968, a trustee and generous supporter of Appalachian State University.

Parking is free on campus after 5 p.m. The parking deck on College Street provides closest access to Plemmons Student Union. For further parking information or a map, visit or call the Parking and Traffic Office 828- 262-2878.