BOONE, N.C. — Three acclaimed authors will visit Appalachian State University’s Boone campus this fall as part of the university’s 2023–24 Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.
“This fall, we are bringing three amazing writers to campus: Two novelists whose works range from the former Soviet Union to the Arizona Cactus League, along with a decorated poet,” said Mark Powell, associate professor of creative writing in the Department of English and director of the Visiting Writers Series.
The visiting authors, in order of appearance:
- Novelist Irina Zhorov, Sept. 21.
- Novelist and editor Emily Nemens, Oct. 12.
- Poet Liz Robbins, Nov. 30.
In afternoon programs, each author will lead 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. Evening programs begin at 6 p.m. and feature the authors reading from and discussing their work.
“If you love good books, good poetry and good stories, our fall Visiting Writers Series is the place to be,” added Powell.
Admission to all events is free and open to the public. Book sales and signings will follow the talks and the readings.
The fall 2023 Visiting Writing Series is co-sponsored by App State’s Department of English, The Schaefer Center Presents performing arts series and Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review.
University Libraries has created a fall 2023 Visiting Writers Series guide that provides information about each author and shows which of the authors’ books are available through the library.
Free parking on the Boone campus, in the East Howard Street Lot and College Street Parking Deck, is available beginning at 5 p.m. for App State and local community members attending the fall 2023 series readings. The East Howard Lot is located behind App State's Plemmons Student Union, and the College Street Deck is accessible from West King Street.
For information on visitor parking for Boone campus events, visit the university’s Parking and Transportation website at parking.appstate.edu/visitors-events. For additional information about the fall series, visit the Department of English website and/or contact series coordinator Susan Weinberg, associate professor in the English department, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the authors
Zhorov is a novelist and journalist who has reported on environmental and energy issues for more than a decade. Her first novel, “Lost Believers,” was published by Scribner in August.
Zhorov was born in Uzbekistan, in the Soviet Union, and moved to Philadelphia on the eve of the union’s dissolution. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wyoming.
Nemens — a writer, illustrator, editor and educator — serves as the 2023–24 Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at App State.
Her debut novel, “The Cactus League,” was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2020. Named a Best Book of 2020 by National Public Radio and Lit Hub, “The Cactus League” was also listed as a Los Angeles Times Bestseller, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the 2020 CASEY Baseball Book Award.
From 2018 to 2021, Nemens served as editor of The Paris Review, the nation’s preeminent literary quarterly. During her tenure, the magazine won the 2020 American Society of Magazine Editors Award for Fiction, published two anthologies and produced the second season of its acclaimed podcast. Previously, she coedited The Southern Review, a literary journal published at Louisiana State University. In 2021, she joined the staff of Stranger’s Guide as the publication’s sports/senior editor.
Nemens grew up in Seattle and received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her M.F.A from Louisiana State University. She lives in New Jersey and remains a Mariners fan.
Robbins is a poet whose work has appeared in Adroit Journal, Barrow Street, Beloit Poetry Journal, BOAAT, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review and The Writer’s Almanac. Additionally, her poems are in recent or forthcoming issues of Cimarron Review, Five Points, The Missouri Review, The Penn Review and Rattle. She received a Pushcart nomination from Fugue and has judged contests for Elixir Press, Ploughshares and New Ohio Review.
Robbins’ third poetry collection, “Freaked,” won the 2015 Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award, and her second collection, “Play Button,” won the 2012 Cider Press Review Book Award. Her chapbook, “Girls Turned Like Dials,” won the eighth annual YellowJacket Press Prize in 2012.
Robbins lives in St. Augustine, Florida, and works as a poetry screener for Ploughshares.
Fall 2023 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. App State is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, with a national reputation for innovative teaching and opening access to a high-quality, affordable education for all. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online. Learn more at https://www.appstate.edu.