BOONE, N.C. — This spring, three acclaimed authors will visit Appalachian State University, in person and virtually, as part of App State’s Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series. Their award-winning works cover a spectrum of writing genres — including poetry, fiction and nonfiction.
The visiting authors, in order of appearance:
- Fiction writer, poet and biographer Robert Morgan.
- Poet Annie Woodford.
- Fiction writer and journalist Megan Mayhew Bergman.
Each author will read from and discuss their work, with two of the authors — Woodford and Bergman — leading talks on the craft of writing. Through these talks, aspiring writers can learn how to refine techniques, develop sounder work habits and gain a greater appreciation of the writing process.
The spring series will serve as a homecoming for these “brilliant” authors, who are scattered across the Eastern U.S., said Mark Powell, author, associate professor of creative writing, co-director of the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series and director of App State’s creative writing program. All have strong ties to North Carolina, Powell added; they are either living and working in the state or they grew up here.
Admission to all events is free and open to the public. Book sales and signings will follow the talks and the readings.
About the authors
Morgan, a Hendersonville native, is the author of 15 books of poetry — most recently “Terroir” and “Dark Energy.” He has also published nine volumes of fiction, including “Gap Creek,” a New York Times bestseller and an Oprah Book Club selection, and “Chasing the North Star.”
In addition, he is the author of three nonfiction books: “Good Measure: Essays, Interviews, and Notes on Poetry”; “Boone: A Biography”; and “Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion.”
Morgan has been awarded the James G. Hanes Poetry Prize by the Fellowship of Southern Writers and the Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2013 he received the History Award Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution, and in 2010 he was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Arts Council.
Morgan serves as the Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1971. At App State, he has taught courses as a writer-in-residence, has given a Fall Commencement address and has been the most frequent visiting author in the 30-plus years of the university’s Visiting Writers Series.
A virtual presentation of Morgan reading his short story “Judaculla Rock” is available on the Department of English website.
Woodford is the author of “Bootleg” (Groundhog Poetry Press, 2019), which was a runner-up for the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry. Her second book — “Where You Come From Is Gone” — is the winner of Mercer University’s 2020 Adrienne Bond Prize and will be published in fall 2022.
Her poetry has appeared most recently in “Crossing the Rift: North Carolina Poets on 9/11 and Its Aftermath,” Beloit Poetry Journal, Cornell University’s EPOCH Magazine, Terrain.org and Southern Humanities Review. She was the 2019 winner of the Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian Writing.
Originally from a Virginia mill town near the North Carolina border, she now teaches English at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro.
As part of the spring series, Woodford will give a craft talk titled “Carrying Back the Music to Its Source: Naming the Sacred Place” and deliver the series’ annual Juanita Tobin Memorial Reading honoring the late Blowing Rock poet, who was a member of the High Country Writers Club and a mentor to area writers.
Megan Mayhew Bergman
Bergman is the author of “How Strange a Season” — to be released March 29, as well as “Almost Famous Women” and “Birds of a Lesser Paradise.” Her short fiction has appeared in two volumes of “The Best American Short Stories” and on NPR’s “Selected Shorts” podcast.
She has written columns on climate change and the natural world for The Guardian and The Paris Review. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, Ploughshares, Oxford American, Orion and elsewhere.
A North Carolina native, Bergman teaches literature and environmental writing at Middlebury College in Vermont, where she also serves as director of the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference.
More on the series
The university’s Belk Library and Information Commons has created a spring 2022 Visiting Writers Series guide that provides information about each author and shows which of the authors’ books are available through the library.
For additional information about the spring 2022 series, visit the Department of English website and/or contact series co-director Susan Weinberg, associate professor in the English department, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring 2022 schedule
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About the Department of English
The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to outstanding work in the classroom, the support and mentorship of students, and a dynamic engagement with culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as undergraduate degrees in literary studies, film studies, creative writing, professional writing and English education. Learn more at https://english.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Appalachian State University is home to 17 academic departments, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. CAS aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. More than 6,400 student majors are enrolled in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing App State’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
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The 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 to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.