Visiting Writers Series to be Held on Campus this Summer

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

West Virginia Wesleyan’s Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program will host a Visiting Writers Series during the program’s Summer Residency.  These events are free and open to the public.  The writers will be reading from their original work, and copies of their books will be available for sale; readings will be held on Wesleyan’s campus as noted:

July 1 – Alex Taylor, 7pm, Upshur Reading Room in Annie Merner Pfieffer Library

Author of the story collection The Name of the Nearest River, Alex Taylor lives in Rosine, KY. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, The Oxford American, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere.
July 2 – Mary Ann Samyn, 3pm, Upshur Reading Room in Annie Merner Pfieffer Library

Author of five collections of poetry, most recently My Life in Heaven, winner of the 2012 FIELD Prize, Mary Ann Samyn teaches in the MFA program at West Virginia University.
July 3 – Bob Mehr, 7pm, Upshur Reading Room in Annie Merner Pfieffer Library

Bob Mehr is the music critic for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. A contributor to SPIN, MOJO magazine in the U.K. and German Rolling Stone, he’s also written liner notes for artists including Warren Zevon, Fred Neil, and the Dixie Chicks. His biography of legendary rock band The Replacements will be published by Da Capo in 2013.
July 5 – Maggie Anderson, 7pm, Loar Auditorium

Author of four books of poetry, including Windfall: New and Selected Poems, A Space Filled with Moving, and Cold Comfort, Maggie Anderson has been awarded two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. The founding director of the Wick Poetry Center and of the Wick Poetry Series of the Kent State University Press, Anderson is Professor Emerita of English at Kent State University.
July 6 – Jayne Anne Phillips, 7pm, Loar Auditorium

Born and raised in WV, Jayne Anne Phillips is the author of two widely anthologized story collections, Black Tickets and Fast Lanes, and five novels, Machine Dreams, Shelter, Motherkind, Lark and Termite, and Quiet Dell, forthcoming from Scribner in October. A National Book Award & National Book Critic Circle Award finalist, she is Distinguished Professor of English and director of the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark, the state university of New Jersey.  The reading will be followed by a literary conversation with Jayne Anne Phillips and Maggie Anderson.

Irene McKinney’s final collection of poems, Have You Had Enough Darkness Yet?, will be available for sale at the July 5 & 6 events.  Proceeds from these book sales will go to the MFA scholarship fund.

Wesleyan’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing offers an apprenticeship model that enables students to earn a graduate degree without having to uproot their lives.  Students are on campus for an intense residency period of nine to ten days each summer and winter and complete their semester course work through correspondence with a mentor.  Launched by Irene McKinney, who served as West Virginia’s Poet Laureate until her death in February 2012, the program continues to honor her vision: the dynamic core faculty is committed to fostering the creation of fine literature, particularly literature that explores place and identity.  This program is the only one of its kind in the state.

For more information about the readings or about Wesleyan’s creative writing program, contact MFA Director Jessie van Eerden at or 304.473.8329.

This project is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.