By Kesha Williams
BOONE—The fall Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series at Appalachian State University continues with Bruce Weigl Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Bruce Weigl, poet, essayist and the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing. Submitted photo
Weigl, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian, will hold a craft talk, “Finding Poetry at the Juncture of Memory and Imagination,” 2 – 3:15 p.m. in Room 201B (Table Rock) of the Plemmons Student Union.
A reception for Weigl will be held 6 – 7:15 p.m., in Room 201A (Price Lake) of the Plemmons Student Union. Weigl’s poetry reading will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Room 201B (Table Rock) of the Plemmons Student Union.
Weigl is the author, editor, translator or co-translator of over 20 books of poetry, criticism and memoir, including “The Abundance of Nothing” (2012), which was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, “The Unraveling Strangeness” (2002), “Archeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems” (1999), “After the Others,” (1999) and “Song of Napalm” (1988). He has also written several collections of critical essays. Currently he is the distinguished professor in arts and humanities and directs the Creative Writing Institute at Lorain County Community College in Lorain, Ohio.
Novelist Russell Banks said of Weigl’s “Song of Napalm,” that it “is more than a collection of beautifully wrought, heart-wrenching and often very funny poems. It’s a narrative, the story of an American innocent’s descent into hell and his excruciating return to life on the surface. Weigl may have written the best novel so far about the Vietnam War, and along the way a dozen truly memorable poems.”
Joseph Bathanti, former poet laureate of North Carolina and professor of creative writing in Appalachian’s Department of English, said Weigl’s Oct. 6 appearance marks his second visit to the campus. Weigl was a guest writer for this series in 2014, where Bathanti said he left a lasting impression on the veterans and their families who attended his workshops. Bathanti notes the very experiences from war that haunt and scar some veterans become the written stories and poems that liberate them.
“His writing and his teaching exemplify the mystical power of stories, wrought into one’s own inimitable language, to transform lives,” Bathanti said. “Bruce Weigl is the most prominent, the most searing, soldier who came home from (the Vietnam War) and starting writing poems. As Weigl states in his best-selling prose memoir, ‘The Circle of Hanh,’ ‘The paradox of my life as a writer is that the war ruined my life and in return gave me my voice.’”
Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series events are free of charge and open to the public.
After 5 p.m., parking in the Library Parking Deck on College Street is free of charge. For further parking information or a map, please see http://parking.appstate.edu
Upcoming events in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series include craft talks and readings by Carol Tyler, a graphic novelist, on Nov. 3.; and Robert Olen Butler, a Pulitzer Prize winning fiction writer, on Nov. 10.
About the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series
The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank ’68, a 2013 Appalachian Alumni Association Outstanding Service award recipient, past member of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees, current board member of the Appalachian State University Foundation, and generous supporter of Appalachian State University. Honoring the late newspaperwoman and writer Rachel Rivers-Coffey, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professorship in Creative Writing annually sponsors the residency of a writer of national prominence at Appalachian State University. This position rotates among various distinguished authors of all creative genres; distinguished professors teach a creative writing seminar, conduct community outreach and other off campus activities, and are featured annually in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.
The Fall 2016 Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation, Inc., Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, the Office of Multicultural Student Development, University Bookstore, the Belk Library and Information Commons, and the Appalachian Journal. For additional information about the series, contact Susan Weinberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.