ECU and Joyner Library present vertical white space North Carolina: A State of Change, A Changing State
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Classic themes of Southern literature need updating in the new millennium, especially here in North Carolina, where immigration has dramatically transformed our population. While North Carolina writers still explore race relations between blacks and whites, it seems time to take into account relations with our Latino community as well. Who are the emerging writers who will add their voices to the rich literary heritage of the Old North State?
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Featured Authors Workshop with ECU students

7pm registration and dessert;
program begins 7:30pm

Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms
Free and open to the public.

Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration presented to Fred Chappell by Alex Albright with a tribute and reading by Wiley Cash and music by Jim Clark

Joyner Library (2nd Floor)
Free and open to the public

Registration and check-in with coffee and donuts provided by Krispy Kreme

Welcoming Remarks

Panel: Tarheel Literature in Black and White
–Anjail Rashida Ahmad, Wiley Cash, Anna Jean Mayhew, and Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Panelists will discuss the experience of growing up in a society fragmented by racial issues and how such experiences can be represented in poetry, fiction, and drama.

Panel: Latino/a Writers in North Carolina, guest moderator Maria DeGuzmán
–Paul Cuadros, Gustavo Pérez Firmat, and Irania Macías Patterson
Panelists will discuss the emerging Latina/o voices among North Carolina writers; the creation and convergence of Latina/o literary and cultural production in North Carolina; and the lived experiences, needs, and aspirations of Latina/o populations in the state. 

LUNCH (in the Mendenhall Student Center)*
Ticketed event (pre-registration required)

Awarding of the North Carolina Literary Review’s
3rd James Applewhite Poetry Prize,
presented by Fred Chappell

Reading by Anna Jean Mayhew, author of
The Dry Grass of August
,from her new novel
in progress, Tomorrow’s Bread

Writing Workshops*
Free and open to the public, but space is limited; participants must pre-register.

Workshop #1*
Presentation Practice Room (Joyner, 1st floor)
Writing Poetry that Begs to be Read Aloud
–Anjail Rashida Ahmad
Anjail Rashida Ahmad will demonstrate techniques to enhance a poem’s aural appeal to an audience.

Workshop #2*
North Carolina Collection (Joyner, 3rd floor)
Writing Fiction: “Where you from?”
and Other Questions Concerning
Placing Place on the Page

–Wiley Cash
We’ve all seen the movie where someone wakes up from a dream, head injury, or surgery, and the first thing he or she asks is “Where am I?” Whether we know it or not, readers ask the very same question when they pick up a book. While “place” is often dismissed as the primary concern of regional authors, this craft workshop investigates how fiction and nonfiction writers from around the country use vocabulary, social class, cultural practice, and voice(s) to ground their work in a distinguishable place. We’ll begin by reading the opening lines of work by a diverse group of authors, and we’ll close with a writing exercise that will bring a sense of place to our own work.


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Workshop #3*
OFE Conference Room (Joyner, 1st floor)
Writing Fiction: Who is your who?
Anna Jean Mayhew
Do you hear voices? Take them seriously, write down what they say, and they'll open up and tell you a story. In this workshop, you’ll read character studies to each other; and practice the art of critical listening, so vital in judging your own work honestly. You’ll work from prompts: e.g., an odious character (a man who has committed a despicable crime or a mother who abandons her small children to run off with a lover) and be challenged to craft a sympathetic study of that person. You’ll describe your character and give him or her a significant and provocative name. You’ll be directed to answer questions: Where was he born? Where does she live now? What does he do for a living, or is he on the street? How old is she? What personality flaws or strengths does he have that determine his choices? What does she want and what stands in her way? You’ll leave the workshop with a character you find intriguing and the beginnings of that person’s story. You’ll have a feel for whether you want your character to tell the tale in first person or close third, or whether the narrator is omniscient. With that character alive in your mind and on paper, you’ll be led into plot and setting, and will have a sense of when your story takes place, whether that is centuries in the past or today.

Workshop #4*
Computer Instruction Room (Joyner, 1st floor)
–Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Calvin Ramsey's workshop will appeal to both actors and playwrights. The playwright will involve participants in reading a scene from his play The Green Book and talk about researching the characters for this play, based on the historical "Green Book," used by African Americans who traveled in the South before desegregation to guide them to food and lodging. Playwrights are invited to bring a short scene they are working on to workshop with the group. Actors might bring a scene from a play they are interested in performing in to ask about how to research an historical character they might play. 

Workshop #5*
Joyner, Special Collections (Joyner, 4th floor)
Turning History into Memoir
–Gustavo Pérez Firmat
Gustavo Pérez Firmat, who writes in Spanish or in English (and sometimes in both), depending on mood, means, and occasion, will talk about “how to become a writer without really trying," including the professional dilemma (how to combine an academic or other career and a writing life), the language dilemma (how does a bilingual writer decide what language to write in), the existential dilemma (why write poems instead of watching ESPN).

Workshop #6*
TRC Computer Room (Joyner, 2nd floor)
Writing for Children
–Irania Macías Patterson
Irania Macías Patterson will work with participants on depicting a particular culture accurately, honoring the many views and values of children raised by new immigrants in the US, and developing intercultural partnerships to publish a multicultural book.

*Participants must register for writing workshops and for the luncheon. To register, click on the registration tab to the left.

Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.


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