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Susquehanna University to Host Literature and Creative Writing Conference

Feb. 11, 2009

Selinsgrove, (Pa.)—Students from colleges and universities throughout the mid-Atlantic region will gather on Feb. 16 for the Fifth Annual Undergraduate Literature and Creative Writing Conference at Susquehanna University, hosted by the Department of English and Creative Writing. The conference will give students the opportunity to present their work in a public forum.

                This year’s conference focuses on the theme “Environments of Imagination,” according to Associate Professor of English Drew Hubbell, organizer of the day-long event. Throughout the day, young scholars from Susquehanna and other colleges in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Connecticut and Virginia will present both literary research and creative works covering a variety of topics related to the theme, Hubbell said.

                The event’s keynote speaker will be Lawrence Buell, Powell M. Cabot professor of American literature at Harvard University. His address, “Environmental Crisis and Artistic Imagination,” will begin at 12:15 p.m. in the Degenstein Center Theater.

                Buell, who published his first major book in 1973, is considered one of the leading figures in the ecocritical movement, which started in the U.S. and has spread globally. In his most recent work, “The Future of Environmental Criticism,” Buell follows the history of ecocriticism. He is a former Guggenheim fellow and was nominated three times for a Pulitzer Prize.

                The conference will conclude with a reading by fiction writer and essayist Bob Shacochis at 4:30 p.m. in Stretansky Hall in the Cunningham Center for Music and Art. His reading is sponsored by the Writers Institute at Susquehanna, as part of its 2007-08 Visiting Writers Series.

               Shacochis’ first collection of stories, “Easy in the Islands,” won the National Book Award for First Fiction, and his second collection, “The Next New World,” was awarded the Prix de Rome. His novel, “Swimming in the Volcano,” was a National Book Award finalist.

                Both appearances are free and open to the public. Books by Buell and Shacochis will be available for purchase and signing. A reception will follow the reading by Shacochis in the hallway outside Stretansky Concert Hall at 5:45 p.m.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a private liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Study and service learning abroad, collaborative research among students and faculty, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers.

Contact: Karen Jones
570-372-4650

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