The joys of reading
It’s prime time to cuddle up with a good book or three and as luck would have it we’ve got some great events coming up to meet local authors and get some new books.
Here’s a look at some upcoming author events and other book news this month.
Writers Can Read
The next Writers Can Read Open Mic Night will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at The Inner Geek (formerly Empire Books and News) at Pullman Square. The featured readers are Ann Pancake and Matthew Ferrence. Each month The Inner Geek hosts Writers Can Read, bringing together authors, aspiring authors and those who just enjoy reading to share their works. Refreshments will be provided.
Ann Pancake grew up in Romney and Summersville, West Virginia. Her second short story collection, “Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley,” was published by Counterpoint Press in February 2015.
Her first novel, “Strange As This Weather Has Been” (Counterpoint 2007), features a southern West Virginia family devastated by moun-taintop removal mining. Based on interviews and real events, the novel was one of Kirkus Review’s Top Ten Fiction Books of 2007, won the 2007 Weatherford Award, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award.
Matthew Ferrence lives and teaches in Northwestern Pennsylvania, at the confluence of Appalachia and the Rust Belt.
He is the author of the book “All-American Redneck: Variations on an Icon, from James Fenimore Cooper to the Dixie Chicks,” which was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2014 and was a finalist for the Weatherford Award.
He is also the author of the latest book “Appalachia North,” which came about after a the diagnosis of a brain tumor, setting Ferrence on a journey that is part memoir, part exploration of geology and place.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/InnerGeekHuntington/for more info.
Black History Month Celebration at Marshall’s Writers Series
The A.E. Stringer Writers Series is celebrating Black History Month with a reading and book-signing event featuring author Hanif Abdurraqib. He will present his work at 7 p.m.
on Monday, Feb. 25, in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center.
Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of “The Crown Ain’t Worth Much” (Button Poetry, 2016), which was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us” (Two Dollar Radio, 2017), which was named a best book of 2017 by NPR, Pitchfork, Oprah Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Slate, Esquire, GQ and Publisher’s Weekly, among others.
Abdurraqib is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine, and a member of the poetry collective “Echo Hotel” with poet/essayist Eve Ewing. He has multiple forthcoming books, a new collection of poems “A Fortune For Your Disaster” (Tin House, 2019) and a history of Black performance in the United States, titled “They Don’t Dance No Mo’ ” (Random House, 2020) in addition to his recent release of a biography on “A Tribe Called Quest,” titled “Go Ahead In The Rain” (University of Texas Press, 2019).
The event will include a reading, a Q&A with the author, and a book-signing. It is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by Student Affairs, the Office of Intercultural Affairs, Housing and Residence Life, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Department of English.
Summit helps launch Skeen’s book in style
It was a standing room only crowd (and then some) at the Summit Beer Station from 4 to 9 p.m. last Wednesday, Feb. 13, as Summit bar tender and local yoga instructor Ashley Skeen premiered her first book on Galentine’s Day.
If you missed the launch, the new book, “The Intimacy Interviews: Real Women and Real Conversations,” in which she and about 40 ladies from around the U.S., have poured out their hearts, souls and guts about the joy, passion, heartbreak and ache of love, is on sale now.
You can find it online at Amazon.com, at her website AshleySkeenauthor.com and soon at local retailers such as Inner Geek and Red Caboose. “The Intimacy Interviews” is a 36-chapter emotional rollercoaster view of Skeen’s last year in which she interviewed women from ages 18 to 83 in Hawaii, New Jersey, California, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania as well as Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.
She is also planning a launch party from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at Weathered Ground Brewery near Winterplace Ski Resorting Ghent, West Virginia, south of Beckley. She is also hoping to have book signings in some regional cities as well in Columbus and Louisville.
We are ... celebrating Seuss
The Marshall University Book Store gets Seussical with it next Saturday, Feb. 23, as they host a special story time celebrating the birthday of one of the world’s favorite children’s authors, the late, great Dr. Seuss.
There will be a special story event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, with a reading of one of Dr. Seuss’s books, coupons for 20 percent off general reading books, coloring, and games. The event will be attended by some of Marshall’s student athletes and cheerleaders, and Marco.
This event is free and open to the public.
Novel writing symposium
Book editor and publisher John Patrick Grace, and authors Sheila Redling, Eliot Parker and Carter Taylor Seaton will host a series of panel discussions on writing a novel on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3.
The symposium will consist of sessions on genres and points of view, on research and writing fiction from real life experiences, on outlining a narrative flow, and on character development, and creating tone through language.
To register for this event, please call 304-617-1292 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
51 students to recite poems for Poetry Out Loud
Fifty-one students from across West Virginia will recite poems by Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Sara Teasdale, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Kevin Young and many others during the 2019 Poetry Out Loud state finals competition set for March 1-2, at the Culture Center in Charleston.
The winner will represent West Virginia at the 2019 national Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, D.C., on April 30–May 1.
Storyteller, author and recording artist Bil Lepp will serve as master of ceremonies for the state competition. Lepp is a five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars Contest and winner of the 2018 Vandalia Award.
The semifinal competition begins with Division I at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 1, followed by Division II at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s final competition begins at 1 p.m. Mira and Chuck Costa, of the folk-pop band The Sea The Sea, violinist Alasha Al-Qudwah, 2018 Poetry Out Loud champion Jordyn Marshall, and West Virginia poet laureate Marc Harshman will perform during the finals on Saturday. All sessions are free and open to the public.
Harshman will serve as a judge for the competition, along with West Virginia author and songwriter Colleen Anderson; Joel Peckham, a poet and professor of English at Marshall University; Charleston-based author Rajia Hassib; and Elizabeth Savage, poet and professor of English at Fairmont State University.
The state champion receives $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to the national finals. The school receives $500 to purchase poetry books and materials. The runner-up receives $100, while the school receives $200 for poetry books and materials.
Nancy Drew coming to theaters nationwide
Good news for retro mystery fans who tore through those Nancy Drew mystery novels as a teen. “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase,” an all-new film is coming to theaters on March 15 from Warner Bros., Ellen DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production and Red 56.
After the death of his wife, Carson Drew decides to leave Chicago behind and make a fresh start with his daughter in River Heights. But for 16-yearold Nancy Drew, life in a small town is mighty dull. She longs for excitement, adventure, and the chance to make a difference.
Nancy gets that opportunity when she is asked to help solve the ghostly activity at the Twin Elms mansion. Can she help explain the creaking footsteps, exploding lightbulbs and the ominous creature? Is it the handiwork of high-school bully Derek Barnes? Or is it possible that the ghost of original owner Malcolm Colfax is back for revenge? Recruiting her best friends George and Bess, along with local “mean girl” Helen, Nancy Drew is on the case.
Go online at https://wbproductions.box.com/s/8azbynoexbit0mu57zywevnzb6t177vj for more info.