Authors at Upstate
Visiting Writers Series: 2011-2012 Events
All events take place in the J.M. Smith Boardroom in the Health Education Complex on the USC Upstate campus.
Wayne Robbins // poet and songwriter
Wednesday, 08/31/11, 4:00 p.m.
English instructor at USC Upstate by day and guitarist/singer by night, Wayne Robbins and his five-member Asheville-based band The Hellsayers have been called “a shoegazing blend of dreamy melodies and soaring atmospherics,” and “an atmospheric blend of Buffalo Springfield vocals and Sonic Youth guitar blasts.” Robbins’ 2007 “The Lonesome Sea” album, and his 2010 release, “All You Need To Sleep” album, both recorded in school bus repair garages, showcase the works of these “Carolina-based cosmic cowboys.” At this first Authors@Upstate event of the season, meet this poet and songwriter and see what inspires his lyrics and music. Visit the band’s website at www.goodluckcricket.com.
Robert Morgan // novelist and poet
Thursday, 10/06/11, 4:00 p.m.
Award winning novelist, poet and native of the North Carolina mountains, Robert Morgan’s writing career spans more than 40 years and numerous volumes of poetry collections, short stories and novels. Born and raised in the Green River Valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and widely regarded as the poet laureate of Appalachia, Morgan received a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from UNC at Chapel Hill. Morgan currently serves as Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he has been teaching since 1971. He has held a variety of visiting writer and professorship appointments throughout his professional career, including appointments at Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Duke University, Furman University, and Davidson College. Morgan’s works include October Crossing, Boone, The Strange Attractor, Brave Enemies, This Rock, The Balm of the Gilead Tree, The Truest Pleasure, The Hinterlands, and the book that Oprah Winfrey chose for her book club selection, catapulting him into bookstores, libraries and homes across the country, Gap Creek. Visit the author’s website at www.robert-morgan.com.
Mindy Friddle // novelist
Thursday, 02/16/12, 4:00 p.m.
Mindy Friddle's first novel, The Garden Angel (St. Martin’s Press/Picador), a SIBA bestseller, was selected for Barnes and Noble's Discover Great New Writers program in 2004, and was a National Public Radio Morning Edition summer reading pick. Her second novel, Secret Keepers, was published by St. Martin 's Press. Picador published the paperback. Friddle, a former newspaper reporter, was awarded a 2008-2009 Individual Artist Fellowship in Prose from the South Carolina Arts Commission and has twice won the South Carolina Fiction Prize. She was named a Walter E. Dakin Fellow in Fiction at the Sewanee Writers' Conference in Sewanee, Tenn. She graduated from Furman University, and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College in 2005. She lives in Greenville where she directs the Writing Room, a community-based nonprofit program she founded in 2006 to bring writers to Greenville for paid seminars and readings. Visit the author’s website at www.mindyfriddle.com.
Claire Bateman // poet
Thursday, 04/05/12, 4:00 p.m.
Claire Bateman’s poetry collections include Coronology (Etruscan, 2010); The Bicycle Slow Race (Wesleyan, 1991); Friction (Eighth Mountain, 1998); At the Funeral of the Ether (Ninety-Six Press, 1998); Clumsy (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2003); and Leap (New Issues, 2005). Bateman won the Louisiana Literature Poetry Prize, and received the New Millennium Poetry Prize as well as grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Surdna Foundation. She additionally was awarded a Robert Frost Fellowship, a Writing Teacher Portfolio Award from Scholastic Arts, and a Pushcart Prize. “Her unique use of language has a luminous quality and texture, underpinned by seductive wit and lyrical delicacy. Each poem walks a tightrope with perfect balance between elegance and accessibility,” says one reviewer, while another says, she “is like some secret agent of evolutionary biology: her writing hopes to change our DNA and help us love our strange little heads. If, as the French say, the brain is the antenna for the mind, then she is receiving the clearest of broadcast signals from the galaxy of crazy wisdom.” Bateman lives in Greenville, S.C. Bateman’s blog can be found here: http://clairebateman.blogspot.com/