Visiting authors on campus as part of Women’s History Month, Birke Fine Arts Symposium

Marshall University’s A. E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series will present two events celebrating Women’s History Month, also as the final two events of the monthlong Birke Fine Arts Symposium, on the Huntington campus next week.

The A.E. Visiting Writers Series will present a literary lecture with Rebecca Gayle Howell and Matthew Olzmann at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Room 402 of Drinko Library. The second event will be a featured reading with Howell, Olzmann and Christa Parravani at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center.

Howell is the author of American Purgatory and Render /An Apocalypse. Her awards include fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a Pushcart Prize. She is the James Still Writer-in-Residence at the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, Kentucky, and the poetry editor for Oxford American.

Olzmann is the author of two collections of poems, Mezzanines, which was selected for the Kundiman Prize, and Contradictions in the Design, both from Alice James Books. His writing has appeared in Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Brevity and elsewhere. He’s received fellowships from the Kresge Arts Foundation, Kundiman and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Previously, he’s taught at the University of North Carolina, Oakland Community College and for the Alice Lloyd Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. Currently, he’s a lecturer at Dartmouth College and also teaches in the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Parravani is the author of the book, Her: A Memoir (Henry Holt and Co., 2013), which was listed as the “best” and “favorite” book of the year by the Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Library Journal, and Salon and Women in Clothes (Viking Penguin, 2014). Paravanni is both a writer and photographer. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally, and are represented by the Michael Foley Gallery in New York City and the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles. She has taught photography at Dartmouth College, Columbia University and UMass, Amherst. She earned her M.F.A. in visual art from Columbia University and her M.F.A. in creative writing from Rutgers. She is an assistant professor of English at West Virginia University.

Both events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

These events are made possible with support from the Department of English, the College of Liberal Arts, the Women’s Studies program, the West Virginia Humanities Council, and the Birke Fine Arts Symposium Endowment. The Birke Fine Arts Symposium is a monthlong celebration of local and regional art, this year exploring the theme, “What’s Next: the Arts in Times of Adversity.” Find the entire schedule at”>

For more information, contact Eric Smith, assistant professor of English, at


Photos: From left, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Matthew Olzmann and Christa Parravani will speak as part of the A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series Feb. 28 and March 1 at Marshall University.