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Poet C.S. Giscombe speaks Oct. 25 at Appalachian

BOONE—Poet and essayist C.S. Giscombe will speak Thursday, Oct. 25, at Appalachian State University. His campus visit is sponsored by the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

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Giscombe will present the craft talk “Field Trips” at 3:30 p.m. in Room 421 Belk Library and Information Commons. Field trips are an element in his teaching and illustrate the idea of writing in and about place. “The field trip has become over the past several years a feature of my creative writing classes – off campus, city, woods,” he said.

He will read from his work at 7:30 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Grandfather Mountain Ballroom. Book sales and signing will follow each event.

Giscombe’s books are “Prairie Style,” “Two Sections from Practical Geography,” “Giscome Road,” “Here,” “At Large” and “Postcards.” His prose book about Canada is titled “Into and Out of Dislocation.” A book of essays on poetry and other cultural topics titled “Back Burner,” will be published in 2013.

Henry Louis Gates said that Giscombe is a “major figure in contemporary African American letters.” The late poet and author Robert Creely said that Giscombe’s writing “makes evident a genius of attention to all the determinants of any one of us, our particulars, our people. He traces with consummate art the passage of time through his own accumulating presence, his points of origin and return.”

Giscombe teaches poetry at the University of California, Berkeley. He was educated in Dayton, Ohio, public and parochial schools and earned degrees in English from the State University of New York at Albany and Cornell University, where he edited the national literary Epoch for a number of years.

He is the 2010 recipient of the Stephen Henderson Award in Poetry, given by the African American Literature and Culture Society. “Prairie Style” was awarded a 2008 American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation. “Giscome Road” won the 1998 Carl Sandburg Prize, given by the Chicago Public Library.

Giscombe also has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry, the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, and the Canadian Embassy.

The Fall 2012 Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation; Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs; the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, the Summer Reading Program, the University Bookstore, Belk Library, and the Appalachian Journal. Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Restaurant. Community sponsors include John and Marjorie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin, and The High Country Writers.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank, class of 1968, trustee and generous supporter of Appalachian State University.

To read on-line excerpts from the visiting writers’ works, visit, click Reserves, and then enter Visiting Writers Series as the instructor or course name. If needed, use the password asuwriters.

Parking is free on campus after 5 p.m. The College Street parking deck adjacent to Belk Library and Information Commons provides the closest access to the student union.

For more parking information or a map, please see or call the Parking and Traffic Office 828-262-2878.

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