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Poet Susan Ludvigson appears in Appalachian’s Visiting Writers Series Oct. 5

By Mary Giunca

BOONE, N.C.—The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series at Appalachian State University will continue on Oct. 5 with two presentations by Susan Ludvigson, an award-winning poet and the 2017-18 Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian, where she is teaching a seminar in advanced poetry.

View larger imageSusan Ludvigson will appear Oct. 5 in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series at Appalachian State University. Photo courtesy of Susan Ludvigson

Ludvigson was chosen for her warm and inspirational presence in the classroom and her many accomplishments, said Joseph Bathanti, the series’ director and a professor of creative writing in Appalachian’s Department of English.

The Distinguished Professorship in Creative Writing annually sponsors the residency of a writer of national prominence at Appalachian. The position rotates among authors of various genres. The professors teach a creative writing seminar, conduct community outreach and are featured in the annual visiting writers series. Ludvigson is the 15th distinguished professor and follows in the footsteps of writers such as Robert Morgan, Bruce Weigl, Kay Byer, Kelly Cherry, Toi Derricotte, Gurney Norman, R.T. Smith and Al Young.

Ludvigson is the author of “Step Carefully in Night Grass,” “Lights,” “The Swimmer” and other books of poetry. She will present a craft talk on “Issues of Voice” from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. in Table Rock (Room 201B) of the Plemmons Student Union and will read from her work at 7:30 p.m. in the same location.

As with all series events, Ludvigson’s presentations will be free and open to the public. A book sale and signing will follow. Her books will also be available in the University Bookstore.

“Her work is witty, wise, lyrically precocious, rooted in shared humanity and the natural world, and thoroughly engaged in what it means to be consciously and conscionably alive in an often-confusing world,” Bathanti said.

Ludvigson’s craft talk, titled “Issues of Voice” will discuss a number of poets with very different voices.

“I’ll be talking about the different kinds of voices a poet can choose to employ,” she said. “Sometimes a voice and manner that resembles the poet’s own voice in ordinary speech, sometimes a voice close to the poet’s voice but using a more formal diction, sometimes adopting and inhabiting a clearly fictional voice or voices.”

For her reading, Ludvigson said she has chosen poems from “Sweet Confluence,” “Escaping the House of Certainty” and a few new and unpublished poems.

“What I hope people will take away is how many varieties of voices and kinds of poems a single poet may employ,” she said. “I find the idea of inhabiting other minds and other voices than my own a pleasure and a challenge. ‘Fun’ may sound a little unserious, but in fact I do think of some of the poems written from the points of view of other people, especially somewhat unusual and even bizarre people, great fun to write, and I hope they’ll be fun for other people to read and hear.”

More about the fall 2017 series

Each semester, the series brings four distinguished and up-and-coming creative writers of varying genres to Appalachian’s campus to read from and discuss their works. The series also features craft talks led by the author on the craft of writing.

After Ludvigson’s presentation, the fall semester will conclude with:

Nov. 2 – Poet Vivian Shipley

Craft talk, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m., Three Top Mountain (Room 169), Plemmons Student Union
Reading, 7:30 – 9 p.m., Three Top Mountain (Room 169), Plemmons Student Union

Parking information

Series organizers recommend attendees park in the College Street Parking Deck near Belk Library and Information Commons. For further information or a map, visit

About the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series

The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series, named in honor of alumna Hughlene Bostian Frank ’68, brings distinguished and up-and-coming creative writers to the Appalachian State Univeristy campus throughout the year to present lectures and discuss their works. Frank is a 2013 Appalachian Alumni Association Outstanding Service award recipient, past member of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees, current board member of the Appalachian State University Foundation Inc., and generous support of Appalachian. Learn more at

The Fall 2017 Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation Inc., Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, Office of Multicultural Student Development, University Bookstore, Belk Library and Information Commons, and the Appalachian Journal. Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn, The Red Onion Restaurant and The New Public House & Hotel. Community sponsors include John and the late Margie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor and Thomas McLaughlin.

About the College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, two stand-alone academic programs, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university’s strengths, traditions and unique location. Our values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of our students as global citizens. There are approximately 5,850 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.