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February 19, 2010
Vol. 51 No. 15

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Writer shares works with students

Read on -- Charles D'Ambrosio read at Susquehanna on Monday.
Author Charles D'Ambrosio read from his work as a speaker at the sixth annual Undergraduate Literature and Creative Writing Conference, held at Susquehanna on Monday, Feb. 15 at 4:30 p.m. in the Degenstein Center Theater. The session was free and open to the public.

D'Ambrosio is the author of two collections of short stories -- "The Point" from 1995 and "The Dead Fish Museum" from 2006) -- as well as a 2005 collection of essays titled "Orphans."

His work has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope All-Story, and A Public Space.

The reading began with opening remarks by Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing Karla Kelsey. She then presented sophomore creative writing major Charlotte Lotz, who introduced D'Ambrosio.

In her introduction of the author, Lotz said that after reading "The Dead Point Museum," she felt "an overwhelmingly excellent sense of discomfort," an experience in which she knew she was not alone.

"I know that the effect D'Ambrosio had on me wasn't an isolated one," she said, citing those in her Literature and Culture class who do not typically enjoy reading but wanted to continue the discussion of D'Ambrosio's book even after class had ended.

After he was introduced, D'Ambrosio took the podium to read excerpts from his essays "Documents" and "The Screenwriter."

D'Ambrosio has received multiple awards for his work, including a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, a Rasmuson Fell-owship, a James Michener Fellowship and the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction.

He was a finalist for both the Pen/Hemingway and PEN/Faulkner Awards, and he has also been on the New York Times Notable Book List and received the Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature.

D'Ambrosio earned his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College. He graduated with a master of fine arts degree from the Iowa Writers Workshop, where he has since been a visiting faculty member.

D'Ambrosio also served as an instructor at the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. He currently resides in Portland, Ore.

Following D'Ambrosio's reading, was the announcement of the winner of the first annual Gary and Elizabeth Fincke Award, meant for a senior creative writing major based on their submitted portfolio. This year's award was judged by Fleda Brown, a former Visiting Writer, and was presented to James Grzejka.

D'Ambrosio was the fourth of six writers scheduled to read at Susquehanna during the 2009-10 school year. The next reading will be given by Bernard Cooper, author of "Maps to Anywhere" and "Guess Again," on March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Isaacs Auditorium as part of the Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the Writers Institute.

For more information about programs sponsored by the Writers' Institute and upcoming events, please visit


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