BOONE, N.C.—The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series at Appalachian State University will conclude with two presentations by Vivian Shipley, a poet, critic and award-winning teacher. Shipley will present a craft talk on “The Poetry of Witness” and will read from her work.
Shipley was chosen for the series for her eclectic range and her sense of home and hearth, said Joseph Bathanti, the series’ director and a professor of creative writing in Appalachian’s Department of English. She’s also a native of Kentucky, and her poetry holds fast to her Appalachian roots.
Shipley served as the final judge for the 2017-18 Marian Coe and John Foster West scholarships in creative writing competitions at Appalachian. She is a distinguished professor of creative writing at Southern Connecticut State University and was the 2014 recipient of the Hackney Literary Award for Poetry.
Her 10th book, “Perennial,” was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and was a 2016-17 Paterson Poetry Prize finalist.
As with all series events, Shipley’s presentations will be free and open to the public. A book sale and signing will follow. Her books will also be available in the Appalachian State University Bookstore.
In her craft talk, Shipley said she will be discussing the importance of writing poems about historic and contemporary events that preserve details of voices that have been silenced and lives that have been cut short, such as the 58 people killed in Las Vegas at a country music festival earlier this month.
“I’ll focus on how I incorporate the extensive research I do for poems of witness without allowing it to overpower the poem and weight it down,” she said. “I will share how I struggle with point of view in order to create an immediate voice for the people depicted in my poems.”
For her reading, Shipley has selected poems from her next book, which will center on such recent events as the solar eclipse in Charleston, South Carolina, and the truck driver in Texas who transported 73 illegal immigrants in his truck in July and allowed 10 people to die for lack of air conditioning. She will also read poems about the different roles and experiences of women – real and imagined – from her book, “The Poet.”
“I hope that people will learn about the lives of other people from the information in my poems in order to honor their memory. I like to read poems and learn something I did not know that stimulates me to find out more about the topic or person,” she said. “I also hope people will be inspired to write poems of their own that will attempt to make our world a kinder and more peaceful place by developing compassion for the lives of other men, women and children that are unlike our own.”
Series organizers recommend attendees park in the College Street Parking Deck near Belk Library and Information Commons. For further information or a map, visit http://parking.appstate.edu.
About the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series
The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series, named in honor of alumna Hughlene Bostian Frank ’68, brings distinguished and up-and-coming creative writers to the Appalachian State University campus throughout the year to present lectures and discuss their works. Frank is 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 Inc., and generous support of Appalachian. Learn more at http://visitingwriters.appstate.edu.
The Fall 2017 Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation Inc., Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, Office of Multicultural Student Development, University Bookstore, Belk Library and Information Commons, and the Appalachian Journal. Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn, The Red Onion Restaurant and The New Public House & Hotel. Community sponsors include John and the late Margie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor and Thomas McLaughlin.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, two stand-alone academic programs, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. Our values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of our students as global citizens. There are approximately 5,850 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.