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Poet Toi Derricotte presents a talk and reading Oct. 3

BOONE—Toi Derricotte is the guest of the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series Oct. 3 at Appalachian State University. The poet will read from her work at 7:30 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Table Rock Room. A pre-reading reception will be held from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in Price Lake Room in the student union.

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Derricotte also will present the craft talk “Social Butterfly or Recluse: Some Thoughts about Writing In and Out of Community” from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in Table Rock Room.

Book sales and signing will follow her talk and reading. The public is invited to attend all the events.

Derricotte also is the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing for fall semester.

Derricotte’s books of poetry are “The Undertaker’s Daughter”; “Tender,” winner of the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize; “Captivity”; “Natural Birth’; and “The Empress of the Death House.” Her literary memoir, “The Black Notebooks,” won the 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her essay “Beginning Dialogues” is included in The Best American Essays 2006.

Her honors include election to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets and the 2012 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, given to a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work to date represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature.

Judges of the competition wrote, “Her poems carry both truth and a higher knowledge in scenes of everyday life, consistently depicted through taut language. And her voice is, at once, tender and unflinching. The poems remind readers that personal and societal histories intersect sometimes in the most brutal, the most tender, and the most surprising of ways.”

Derricotte also received the 2012 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement; the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America; two Pushcart Prizes; the Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award from the United Black Artists; the New York Graduate School of Arts and Science Alumni Achievement Award; the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers Inc.; the Elizabeth Kray Award for service to the field of poetry from Poets House; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Maryland State Arts Council. With Cornelius Eady in 1996, she co-founded Cave Canem Foundation, North America’s premier “home for black poetry.”

Honoring the late newspaperwoman and writer Rachel Rivers-Coffey, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professorship in Creative Writing annually sponsors the residency of a writer of national prominence at Appalachian State University. This position rotates among various distinguished authors of all creative genres; distinguished professors teach a creative writing seminar, conduct community outreach and other off-campus activities, and are featured annually in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

About the Visiting Writers Series

The Fall 2013 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 Information Commons and the Appalachian Journal. Business sponsors are the Gideon Ridge Inn and the Red Onion Café. Community sponsors include John and the late Margie 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), a past trustee and generous supporter of the university and recipient of the 2013 Appalachian Alumni Association Outstanding Service Award.

For further information on the Visiting Writers Series fall season, call 828-262-2871 or see To receive Appalachian’s “This Week in the Arts” announcements by email, contact

To read on-line excerpts from the Fall Visiting Writers’ works, go to, click Reserves, and then enter Visiting Writers Series as Instructor or Course Name. If needed, use the password asuwriters.

Parking is free in most campus lots after 5 p.m. and in the College Street parking deck after 5:30 p.m. The College Street deck adjacent to Belk Library and Information Commons provides the closest access to the student union.

To reach the student union from the parking deck, cross College Street and follow the walkway between the chiller plant and the University Bookstore, passing the Post Office and entering the Student Union on the second floor.

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