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Poetry, mystery and short story writers featured during spring Visiting Writers Series

BOONE—A variety of writing genres will be featured during the spring Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series at Appalachian State University.

View larger imageHank LazerView larger imageRoxane GayView larger imageTim EarleyView larger imageMegan Kaminski

The series begins with a March 19 reading by poet Hank Lazer. Mystery and short story author Roxane Gay will come to campus April 16. Readings by poets Megan Kaminski and Tim Earley will conclude the series April 23. Admission to all events is free.

Lazer is the writing series’ Juanita Tobin Memorial Poet. His reading is supported by The Juanita Tobin Fund that was established Tobin’s son and daughter-in-law and a long-time friend of Tobin. His presentation begins with a craft talk March 19 from 2-3:15 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Table Rock Room. His talk is at 7:30 p.m., also in Table Rock Room.

Lazer is the author of 14 books of poetry, including “The New Spirit” (Singing Horse, 2005), “Elegies & Vacations” (Salt, 2004) and “Days” (Lavender Ink, 2002).

For more than 30 years, he has published poetry in America’s leading literary magazines. Lazer’s work has been nominated for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and the 2004 Forward Prize. With Charles Bernstein, he edits the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series for the University of Alabama Press.

For the past 12 years, his essays on innovative poetry, new modes of lyricism, and representations of spiritual experience have appeared in a variety of journals, including The Boston Review, Jacket, American Poetry Review and Talisman.

Lazer has collaborated with jazz musicians Tom Wolfe and Chris Kozak on some jazz and poetry improvisations and with outsider artist Pak on a series of poem-paintings.

Born and raised in San Jose, California, Lazer received a B.A. degree in English from Stanford University. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from the University of Virginia.

Lazer is a professor of English at the University of Alabama where he is also an administrator serving as the associate provost for academic affairs.

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay will present a craft talk April 16 at 2 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Table Rock Room. Her reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Table Rock Room.

Gay’s writing has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Salon and The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy culture blog.

She is the co-editor of PANK and former essays editor for The Rumpus. She teaches writing at Purdue University. Her novel, “An Untamed State,” was recently published by Grove Atlantic and her essay collection, “Bad Feminist,” was published by Harper Perennial in August 2014.

She also is the author of “Hunger,” forthcoming from Harper in 2016.

Tim Earley and Megan Kaminski

Tim Earley and Megan Kaminski will speak April 23 during a 2 p.m. craft talk in Plemmons Student Union’s Table Rock Room and read from their works at 7:30 p.m. in Table Rock Room.

Earley is the author of three full-length collections: “Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery” (Horse Less Press, 2014), “The Spooking of Mavens” (Cracked Slab Books, 2010) and “Boondoggle” (Main Street Rag, 2005), along with a limited edition chapbook, “Catfish Poems” (Delete Press, 2013). His work has appeared in The Ecopoetry Anthology, Chicago Review, Colorado Review, jubilat, Cannibal, Bestoned: The New Metaphysick, Conduit and other publications.

He teaches at the University of Mississippi and the Fine Arts Work Center’s Online Writing Program, 24PearlStreet.

Kaminski’s first book of poetry is “Desiring Map” (Coconut Books, 2012). She is also the author of seven chapbooks, most recently “Wintering Prairie” (Dusie Kollektiv, 2014), “This Place” (Dusie Kollektiv, 2013) and “Gemology” (Little Red Leaves Textile Series, 2012). Her current work, “Deep City,” explores the body and the city as architectures in crisis.

Kaminski teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Kansas, where she directs the undergraduate reading series and is the faculty sponsor for The Siren, a national journal of student writing. She also curates the Taproom Poetry Series in downtown Lawrence, Kansas.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank (class of 1968), 2013 Appalachian Alumni Association Outstanding Service award recipient, past trustee, and generous supporter of Appalachian State University.

For more information about the series, visit the series’ Facebook page or email To receive Appalachian’s “This Week in the Arts” announcements by email, contact

Parking is free on campus after 5 p.m. We recommend the Library Parking Deck on College Street (from King Street, turn down College Street at the First Baptist Church), which opens to the public at 5:30 p.m. To reach the student union, 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, visit or call the Parking and Traffic Office at 828-262-2878.

The Visiting Writers Series 2014-2015 season 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 the late Margie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin and The High Country Writers.