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Colby College’s 2000-01 Visiting Writers Series will hold three poetry and fiction readings this fall on the Waterville campus. Each program will begin at 7 p.m. in the Robinson Room of Miller Library and is open to the public free of charge. A book signing by the author will follow each of the readings. The Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by Colby’s creative writing program.
On Thursday, September 28, novelist and short fiction writer Joan Silber will inaugurate the 2000-01 Visiting Writers Series at Colby with a reading from her most recent work In My Other Life (2000). In My Other Life, Silber’s first collection of short stories, focuses on the division between old and new lives as the troubled middle-aged New Yorkers of her stories ponder their wild youthful pasts. Silber also is the author of the novels Household Words, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, and In the City. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Voice Literary Supplement, The Paris Review, Boulevard and other magazines. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation on the Arts. Silber resides in New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.
On Wednesday, October 18, Rockland native Leo Connellan will read selections of his poetry. Connellan is the author of 15 books of poetry, including The Maine Poems, The Clear Blue Lobster-Water Country, Another Poet in New York, New and Selected Poems and Death in Lobster Land. Decidedly a New England poet, Connellan writes about seas, oceans and the lives associated with them, as well as the ironies that plague humankind. “I wrote my poems because I had to write,” he said. “No one told me to.” Connellan is a three-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize. His book Shatterhouse won the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and he is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Connellan’s poetry has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, New England Review, Ploughshares, New York Quarterly and other magazines. A resident of Connecticut, he is the state’s poet laureate and poet-in-residence for the Connecticut State University System. The University of Maine at Augusta awarded Connellan an honorary Doctorate in Human Letters in 1998 for his Maine poems.
On Tuesday, November 28, fiction writer Steve Stern will give a reading. Stern won the 1999 National Jewish Book award for fiction for The Wedding Jester, a collection of nine short stories. His colorful and witty stories are set in the past, present and postmodern periods of Jewish-Yiddish-American culture. His other books include A Plague of Dreamers, Harry Kaplan’s Adventures Underground and Lazar Malkin Enters Heaven. Stern’s honors include two New York Times Notable Books, a Pushcart Writer’s Choice Award, an O. Henry Prize and the Edward Lewis Wallant award for Jewish-American fiction. Originally from Memphis, Tenn., Stern is writer-in-residence at Skidmore College. This reading is co-sponsored by Colby’s Jewish studies program.