Women authors dominate Writers Series at Sweet Briar

Emily Rapp Black
Emily Rapp Black

Sweet Briar College’s annual Writers Series kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, with a reading by nonfiction author Emily Rapp Black. Black’s is the first of four readings in the series. Sponsored by the creative writing program, all events will be held in Mary Helen Cochran Library’s Reahard Learning Gallery and are free and open to the public.

Black is the author of “Poster Child: A Memoir” and “The Still Point of the Turning World,” which was a New York Times Bestseller, an Editor’s Pick and a finalist for the PEN Center Literary Award in Nonfiction. A former Fulbright scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, Trinity College-Dublin, Saint Olaf College and the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow in Fiction and Poetry. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Slate, Vogue, The Rumpus and many other publications and anthologies.

Next up in the 2017-2018 series is poet Erika Meitner, who will read at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11. Meitner is the author of four books of poems, most recently “Copia.” Her other books are “Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls,” “Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore” and “Ideal Cities,” which was selected by Paul Guest as a winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series competition. Her poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Slate, Prairie Schooner, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, The New Republic, Ploughshares and elsewhere.

Meitner, a first-generation American, was born and raised in Queens and Long Island, N.Y.  She attended Dartmouth College, Hebrew University and the University of Virginia, where she received an M.F.A. in creative writing in 2001 as a Henry Hoyns Fellow and an M.A. in religious studies in 2013 as a Morgenstern Fellow in Jewish Studies. She is currently an associate professor of English and directs both the M.F.A. and undergraduate creative writing programs at Virginia Tech.

The third reading in the Writers Series will feature fiction writer Belle Boggs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9. Boggs is the author of “Mattaponi Queen,” a collection of linked stories set along Virginia’s Mattaponi River, and “The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood,” published in 2016 by Graywolf Press. “Mattaponi Queen” won the Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

Boggs’s stories and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, Glimmer Train, the Oxford American, Slate, Orion, Ecotone and other publications. She teaches in the M.F.A. program at North Carolina State University.

Last up in the series is Jennifer Ackerman, who will read at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Ackerman has been writing about science and nature for 30 years. Her most recent book is “The Genius of Birds.” Her previous books include “Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold,” “Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body,” “Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity,” and “Notes from the Shore.” A contributor to Scientific American, National Geographic, The New York Times and many other publications, Ackerman is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including an NEA Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Bunting Institute Fellowship and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Her articles and essays have been included in several anthologies, among them, Best American Science Writing, The Nature Reader, Best Nature Writing, Flights of Imagination: Extraordinary Writings About Birds and The Penguin Book of the Ocean.

For more information, email Julia Jackson Nichols Professor of English John Gregory Brown, director of the creative writing program, at brown@sbc.edu.

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