APPALACHIAN READING SERIES PRESENTS MICHAEL CHITWOOD
February 25, 2011 - Harrogate, Tennessee – Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will continue its 2010-2011 Appalachian Reading Series with visiting author Michael Chitwood on Monday, March 7 at 6 p.m. The reading will be held in the Harold M. Finley Learning Resources Center inside the Carnegie Vincent Library and is free and open to the public.
Chitwood has published award-winning fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Currently, he is a freelance writer and teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The New Republic and numerous other journals. He is a regular commentator for radio station WUNC-FM. His book reviews and articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation.
“Michael Chitwood is one of my favorite poets,” said Darnell Arnoult, writer in residence at LMU and director of the Appalachian Reading Series. “He writes about rural life, the working class, the South, Appalachia, all of it as an insider, but also as a keen observer with an honest voice. He doesn’t romanticize any of it, but there’s love there too. And he writes beyond those borders because his life has taken him to other places.”
Chitwood was born and raised in the foothills of the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. He grew up in the small town of Rocky Mount, where he attended the county’s only high school. He graduated from Emory and Henry College in Southwest Virginia, and later he earned the Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Virginia. He worked as a science writer for a number of years at the University of Virginia Medical Center, eventually becoming assistant editor of the magazine Helix. He moved to North Carolina that year and worked as a science and medical writer at Duke University Medical Center and then at Research Triangle Institute where he edited the magazine Hypotenuse.
Ohio Review Books published Chitwood’s first two books of his poetry: Salt Works (1992) and Whet (1995). His third book, The Weave Room, was published by The University of Chicago Press (1998). His collection of essays, Hitting Below the Bible Belt, was published by Down Home Press in 1998. Gospel Road Going, a collection of poems about his native Appalachia, was published in 2002 and was awarded the 2003 Roanoke-Chowan Prize for Poetry. In 2006, he published a collection of essays and short stories called Finishing Touches. Another collection of poetry From Whence was released in March 2007 from Louisiana State University Press, and in the same year, Tupelo Press published his book Spill. Spill was named as a finalist for ForeWard magazine’s poetry book of the year and won the 2008 Roanoke-Chowan Prize. His most recent collection is Poor-Mouth Jubilee, released last year.
“He writes about relationships, parenting, loss and grief, and the surprise of being human,” continued Arnoult. “The other thing I love about Chitwood’s work is that he’s a fiction writer in disguise. He takes on the life of others and gives them voice in line and stanza, telling stories about finely wrought characters in the tiny spaces of his poems. The thing that makes him most southern and most Appalachian is that he’s a wonderful storyteller.”
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at email@example.com.
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