Next event in Visiting Writers Series to feature Marshall professor


JohnVanKirkJohn Van Kirk, fiction writer and professor of English at Marshall University, will be featured at the next reading in the A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series on the Huntington campus.

The reading will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in Smith Hall, room 154, with a book-signing immediately following.

Van Kirk will read from his debut novel, Song for Chance, which has been called by Publishers Weekly “a passionate, elegiac tale about the excesses of sex, drugs, and rock and roll over a tortured musician’s lifetime.”

Van Kirk joined the U.S. Navy in January of 1980. He graduated from flight school as a naval aviator and served for three years in the Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 7, based in Jacksonville, Fla. In 1989, Van Kirk joined the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Maryland, where he studied with Joyce Kornblatt, Howard Norman and Stanley Plumly. After two years of sailing and traveling internationally, he joined the Marshall faculty, where he has balanced a dual career as a writer and teacher since 1993. The recipient of an O. Henry Award and the Fiction Prize at The Iowa Review, Van Kirk’s work has appeared widely in The New York Times Magazine, The Hudson Review, West Branch, Kestrel, The Sonora Review and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, among several other journals and anthologies.

The Visiting Writers Series receives support from Marshall’s College of Liberal Arts and Honors College.