FMU to hold Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival, Nov. 4, 5
FLORENCE, S.C. – For those looking to get in a bind, the book festival held annually at Francis Marion University is the place to be. Four nationally known and bestselling authors and poets and their avid readers will descend upon the university Nov. 4 and 5 at the fifth annual Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival, which is free and open to the public.
The two-day festival will celebrate and promote literature and reading with renowned authors Silas House, Lynn Kostoff, ZZ Packer and Tracy K. Smith. There will be readings, lectures and panel discussions. A number of fiction topics will be covered and there will be opportunities for book signings.
About the authors (photos available upon request):
Silas House, born in Lily, Ky., has published four novels: “Clay’s Quilt” (2001), “A Parchment of Leaves” (2003), “The Coal Tattoo” (2004), and “Eli the Good” (2009). He has also written two plays and, along with Jason Howard, has edited “Something’s Rising” (2009), a collection of essays protesting mountaintop removal mining. House is Writer-in-Residence at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. A musician himself, House has published numerous feature articles on prominent musicians. He has earned many honors, including the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize, the Kentucky Novel of the Year award, and the Appalachian Writer of the Year award. His work appears in Oxford American, Bayou, The Southeast Review, and in many other magazines and anthologies. House lives in Kentucky with his wife and two daughters.
Lynn Kostoff is a professor of English and Writer in Residence at Francis Marion University. Kostoff earned the B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in creative writing from Bowling Green State University. Before joining the Francis Marion faculty in 1985, the Ohio native taught at Indiana State University and the University of Alabama. Kostoff has authored three novels, “A Choice of Nightmares,” “The Long Fall” and “Late Rain”. In the community, Kostoff consults with local school teachers on creative writing projects on a regular basis and makes visits to the schools to talk to the students. Kostoff regularly teaches introductory and advanced fiction courses at FMU. He and his wife, Melanie, live in Florence and have a son, Jeremy.
ZZ Packer, born in Chicago, grew up in Atlanta, Ga., and Louisville, Ky. She holds degrees from Yale, Johns Hopkins, and the Iowa Writers Workshop. She served as a Wallace Stegner Fellow in the Stanford Writing Program. Her collection of stories, “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” (2003), earned enthusiastic reviews and became a New York Times Notable Book. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Story, Ploughshares, and various anthologies. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. She has previously been a teacher, a barmaid, and a coffee barista. In spring 2010, she was a Visiting Writer at the University of Texas-San Marcos. In fall 2010 she is a Guest Writer at Princeton. She and her husband, Michael Boros, have two sons.
Tracy K. Smith was born in Falmouth, Mass., and grew up in northern California. She holds degrees from Harvard and Columbia. Like ZZ Packer, she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Her first collection of poetry, “The Body’s Question,” won the Cave Canem Award. Her second, “Duende,” won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Smith received a Rona Jaffe Writers Award (2004), and a Whiting Award (2005). Her work has appeared in Callaloo, Gulf Coast, The Nebraska Review, West Branch, and other magazines and anthologies. She has taught previously at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University. Currently, she is on the faculty at Princeton. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner Raphael Allison and their daughter.