April 11, 2014
Annual Visiting Writers Series to begin with Southern author
Winner of a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, Franklin is the author of the novels "Smonk" and "Hell at the Breech," as well as the collection of short stories, "Poachers."
"Poachers" was named by Esquire magazine a Distinguished First Book of Fiction for 1999, and the title short story won the 1999 Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Mystery Story.
Franklin, a renowned author in the South, was born and raised in Alabama, where he worked as a heavy-equipment operator in a grit factory, a construction inspector in a chemical plant and a clerk in a hospital morgue. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas and now teaches in the M.F.A. program at the University of Mississippi.
"Franklin has an unbelievably strong Southern voice," said Tom Bailey, professor of English and creative writing at Susquehanna. "His prose is wonderfully alive and terribly vivid."
Senior Patrick Henry said: "Franklin's prose is as dark and rich as the South that he writes about...Franklin is a powerful storyteller whose voice captivates and carries the reader through the mythic landscape of the South."
Sophomore Will Paris said, "'Poachers' is an excellent read with complex characters that draw you in.".
Sophomore Tricia Henegan, who read "Poachers" in Bailey's literature and culture class, noted Franklin's writing for his "incredible mix of violent reactions, religious references and extended metaphor."
Following the reading, students had the opportunity to ask questions of Franklin, as well as have him sign copies of his books.
Franklin's reading was the first of the Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the Writers Institute. Each year, the Institute brings six authors to campus to read and speak with students. The next reading will be given by poet Carolyn Forchè on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Degenstein Theater.
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