Writers series to feature authors as part of Black History Month, Birke Fine Arts Symposium

Marshall University’s A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series will celebrate Black History Month and participate in the university’s Birke Fine Arts Symposium with readings from African American writers Bernard Grant and DaMaris Hill. Grant and Hill will read from their creative work beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center.

Grant ( http://www.bernardgrant.com ) is a doctoral student and Yates Fellow at the University of Cincinnati. He’s the author of two prose chapbooks, Puzzle Pieces (Paper Nautilus Press) and Fly Back at Me (Sundress Publications), and his stories and essays have appeared in many publications. He currently serves as associate essays editor at The Nervous Breakdown.

Hill explores contemporary existence and her generation’s fears of being forgotten. She is the author of The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland, an edited collection of essays, and chapbook of poems entitled. \ Vi-zə-bəl \ \ Teks-chərs \ (Visible Textures). Her work has appeared in several publications and numerous anthologies. In addition to writing, Hill serves University of Kentucky as an assistant professor of creative writing and English literature.

The readings will be sponsored by A. E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series, the Department of English, the College of Liberal Arts, Housing and Residence Life, the Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Birke Fine Arts Symposium Endowment at Marshall, as well as the West Virginia Humanities Council.

The event is one of a monthlong series of artistic presentations that are part of Marshall University’s Birke Fine Arts Symposium, which runs Saturday, Feb. 3, through Thursday, March 1. This year’s theme is “What’s Next: the Arts in Times of Adversity.” The symposium will feature theatre and musical performances, lectures, film screenings, poetry and literary readings, and a variety of other presentations.

The symposium takes place every four years to showcase local works and explore artistic expression at this point in history. It’s made possible by the generosity of Helen Birke and her daughter, Julie, through the Birke Fine Arts Symposium Endowment. The entire symposium schedule can be found online at www.marshall.edu/cam/birke/.

For more information about the readings on Feb. 8, contact Dr. Sarah A. Chavez, coordinator of the writers series, by e-mail at  chavezs@marshall.edu or by phone at 304-696-3341.