UW MFA Creative Writing Program Hosts Visiting Writer Charles Baxter
October 25, 2011 — Acclaimed writer Charles Baxter will read from his works at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, at Second Story Books, located at 105 Ivinson Ave. His presentation is sponsored by the University of Wyoming's MFA Visiting Writers Series program.
The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing. Baxter also will visit with MFA program students during his UW visit.
Baxter is the author of four novels, including his most recent "The Soul Thief" (2008) and "The Feast of Love" (2000), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He also has published four collections of stories, including "Gryphon" (2011), his most recent; a collection of essays on fiction called "Burning Down the House" (1997); and three collections of poems, including "Imaginary Paintings" (1989).
He also has edited "A William Maxwell Portrait" (2004) and "Best New American Voices" (2001) among other anthologies. Baxter has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Michigan Council for the Arts, as well as numerous awards, including The Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters.
A long-time member of the Department of English at the University of Michigan, Baxter now teaches at the University of Minnesota.
"I've been reading Baxter's fiction for years. He is one of America's masters of the short story. Pieces like ‘Harmony of the World,' ‘Gryphon,' ‘Believers,' and ‘Mr. Scary' are classics of the form," says Alyson Hagy, author and UW Department of English professor. "His work can be comic or tragic, and major books, like ‘The Feast of Love' explore the fumbling human urge for connection as well as any fiction published in the last two decades. Having him visit UW and mixing with our students will be a treat."
The MFA Program in Creative Writing ultimately aims to mentor a new generation of writers, says Beth Loffreda, the program's director. Each semester, the program's Visiting Writers Series bring distinguished writers and emerging new voices to Wyoming.
"The program is fortunate to add Baxter to its list of recent guests, which includes Claudia Rankine, Don DeLillo, Kate Greenstreet, Camille Dungy and many others," Loffreda says.