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November 16, 2012
Vol. 54 No. 10

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Local writer reads from debut collection of short stories

WORDS TO LIVE BY
The Crusader/Katie Auchenbach
WORDS TO LIVE BY - Visiting writer Claire Vaye Watkins reads from her collections of short story "Battleborn" Tuesday night in Issacs Auditorium.
Those are fighting words.

Youth Fiction writer Claire Vaye Watkins read from her collection of short stories titled "Battleborn" Tues­day at 7:30 p.m. in Isssacs Auditorium.

A graduate of the University of Ne­vada Reno, Watkins now works as an assistant professor at Bucknell Uni­versity and is the co-director of the Mojave School, a non-profit creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.

She received a Father William Ralston Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference and a Presidential Fellowship from the Ohio State Uni­versity, where she received her Masters of Fine Art. "Battleborn" was released by Riverhead Books in August 2012.

"[Watkins] is never, ever satisfied with the ordinary. Each story in this brilliant debut surprises. Watkins of­fers us amazing visions of a funny, savage, haunted West--and one of the most outstanding short story collec­tions in recent memory," said fellow author Christopher Coake in a review of "Battleborn."

Director of the Writers Institute Gary Fincke used "Battleborn" in his advanced fiction writing classes this semester.

He described her collection saying, "The stories are so varied and power­ful that every student in the class has a favorite that has made an impact, whether for its language, it's characters or the bleak, isolated settings of rural Nevada, a location very seldom used in American fiction."

Senior creative writing major Chris Hooker also gave insight into Watkins style of writing. "She's a very inter­esting writer because the book is 10 stories and each one is different from the last one. They each have different forms, they all experiment with differ­ent things, they try a lot of cool things out,"he said.

Watkins' short story, "Keeping it in the Family," appeared in Granta Maga­zine. Her works have also appeared in The Syracuse Review, The Paris Review, Ploughshares and Glimmer Train. She was also anthologized as Best of the West in 2011 and Best of the Southwest 2013.

In addition to giving a sample read­ing of her work, Watkins will also be speaking in creative writing classes and giving guidance to aspiring cre­ative writing students.

The Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the Writers Institute of Susquehanna.

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