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Area events planned to celebrate local authors

January 21, 2019

We’re here in the maw of winter and it is prime time to cozy up with a good book or three. Here’s a look at some upcoming events highlighting authors as well as some other literary news.

Writers Can Read

The first Writers Can Read Open Mic Night of 2019 is thrilled to welcome Rajia Hassib and Mary Imo Stike as featured readers at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan .21 at Inner Geek, (formerly Empire Books and News) at Pullman Square.

She is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel “In the Language of Miracles,” that came out in 2015. It was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and received an honorable mention from the Arab American Book Award.

Her latest novel, “A Pure Heart,” (Penguin) released Aug. 6. “A Pure Heart” is a portrait of two Muslim women in the twenty-first century, and the decisions they make in work and love that determine their destinies.

Hassib was born and raised in Egypt and moved to the United States when she was 23. She holds an MA in creative writing from Marshall University and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker online, Upstreet, Steam Ticket, and Border Crossing magazines.

Go online at https://www.rajiahassib.com/ to learn more about Hassib.

Mary Imo-Stike was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She worked non-traditional jobs as a rail worker, construction plumber, boiler operator and gas company Compliance Officer. When retired from work-life, she obtained an MFA in Poetry from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2015, and is currently the poetry co-editor of HeartWood Literary Magazine. She lives in Scott Depot with her husband John and dog Howie.

Members of the audience are invited to share 7-8 minute piece of a completed work or a work-in-progress with the audience during the open mic portion of the event, following the featured readers. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

Marshall kicks off the A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series

The A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series will kick off Marshall University’s spring semester by hosting a reading with Appalachian novelist Robert Gipe and poet Savannah Sipple at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center.

The event will include readings, a Q&A with the authors, and a book-signing opportunity. It is free and open to the public.

Gipe’s fiction has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Still: The Journal, and Southern Cultures. His debut novel, “Trampoline” (Ohio University Press, 2015), is the winner of the Weatherford Award in fiction. Its sequel, “Weedeater” (Ohio University Press), was released in 2018. From 1997 to 2018, he was the Appalachian Program Director at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College in Harlan County, Kentucky.

Sipple is the author of WWJD & Other Poems (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019). Her poems have appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Waxwing, Talking River, The Offing, and The Louisville Review. She is the recipient of grants from the Money for Women/ Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

The event is sponsored by the College of Liberal and Arts and the Department of English.

Creat(I’ve) Made Poetry

So Social Baby, 529 6th Ave, Huntington, is hosting a creative made poetry event from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26.

Back to Basics writing workshops

Award-winning author Sheila (S.G.) Redling is offering two writing classes this winter. The Back to Basics Writing Workshop in two time slots and locations but on the same dates.

The Five weeks-long class starts Wednesday, Jan. 30. There will be a mid-day class from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at /Mak/ Art Gallery & Community Studio, 604 1/2 Central Avenue, Barboursville, The evening class is 6 to 8 p.m. at Heritage Station, 210 11th St., in downtown Huntington.Is this the year you finally write that book? Do you have an idea kicking around but don’t know if you have what it takes to write it? Or are you already writing but feel like coming in for a tune-up? No matter where you are in your writing life, it’s a good idea to get back to basics.

S.G. Redling is the author of more than a half dozen novels, including the best-selling thrillers,“Flowertown” and “The Widow File.”

Redling will teach:Understanding story structure and genre promises, Creating believable characters and dynamic dialogue, Avoiding tropes, clichs, and verbal pompoms, Practical (and totally unscientific) ways to get your story over the finish line, Jumpstarting your creativity and How to tell if your story idea has LEGS (and how to fix it if it doesn’t).

Go online at http://sgredling.com/.

Ky. Foundation for Women hosts workshop in Grayson

The Kentucky Foundation for Women will facilitate an Arts Meets Activism Workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Carter County Public Library, 116 West Main St., Grayson.

The workshop includes networking, a discussion on feminism and art for social change, and detailed information about how to apply for the Art Meets Activism grant and the Summer Residency Program with George Ella Lyon. Artists from all art forms (literary, media, performing, and visual) are eligible to apply. RSVP to Jenrose Fitzgerald at jenrose@kfw.org or 502-562-0045 or respond to the event shared on Facebook.

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