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Susquehanna University Alumna Concludes Visiting Writers Series

April 8, 2009

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Susquehanna University alumna Catherine Pierce ’00 will read from her published works of poetry April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Seibert Hall’s Isaacs Auditorium. Pierce is the final guest author to appear as part of the Visiting Writers Series, sponsored by Susquehanna University’s Writers Institute.

Pierce will read from her first full-length poetry collection, “Famous Last Words,” winner of the 2007 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, “Animals of Habit,” was published in 2004 and won the Wick Chapbook Competition. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in literary magazines such as Ploughshares, Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Slate and Indiana Review.

Pierce received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Ohio State and a doctorate from the University of Missouri. She resides in Starkville, Miss., where she is an assistant professor of creative writing at Mississippi State University.

Gary Fincke, director of the Writers Institute, spoke highly of Pierce and her accomplishments since graduating. “When Katie was a senior, I’d joke with her that she could come back in six years and work here because she’d have a Ph.D. and a book publication,” Fincke said. “It took her seven years to turn that joke around, and I couldn't be happier for her. She’s talented and smart, and maybe most important, willing to work.”

Alumna Amy Harper ’01 also will return to Susquehanna to share with students her experiences as a professional writer and editor. Harper is a senior writer for In Touch magazine in New York City.

“It's a joy to have Amy return, because she sets an example of how taking risks and being bold can take our students to New York and other such cities to prove they belong and can succeed,” Fincke said. “Within a year after graduation, Amy had a job at In Touch, and since then, her talent and ambition have done the rest.”

The alumnae visits coincide with the release of this year’s RiverCraft campus literary magazine and will include readings by current students who are published in the new issue.The winner of the Juliet Gibson Memorial Award will be announced at the evening event. Two finalists, one each in prose and poetry, are selected each year from among students who are published in RiverCraft. The award was established in 1988 in remembrance of the student editor who died the previous year.

Produced entirely by students, RiverCraft features fiction and poetry and is one of three literary magazines produced annually at Susquehanna University. The literary magazine Essayfocuses entirely on nonfiction writing by SU students, and Susquehanna Review accepts works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry from undergraduates across the country.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 30 states and 12 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. 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. For more information, visit www.susqu.edu.

Contact: Karen Jones

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