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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Raymond Carver Reading Series announces spring lineup

Acclaimed series features renowned authors, poets

Jan. 19, 2011, by Donna Adamo

The spring lineup for the Raymond Carver Reading Series begins Feb. 9 with novelist and literary critic Stacey D’Erasmo, and continues with essayist and novelist Victor LaValle (Feb. 23), novelist and short story writer Sam Lipsyte (March 9), award-winning poet Brigit Pegeen Kelly (March 23), poet Michael Burkard (Apr. 13) and award-winning poet Bruce Smith (Apr. 27).

Named for the great short story writer and poet who taught at SU in the 1980s, the Raymond Carver Reading Series is a vital part of Syracuse’s literary life. Presented by the M.F.A. program in creative writing in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the series each year brings six fiction writers and six poets to campus to read their words and to interact with students. Each event begins with a Q-and-A session at 3:45 p.m. and is followed by an author reading and book signing at 5:30 p.m. All activities take place in Gifford Auditorium in H.B. Crouse Hall and are free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots. For more information, call (315) 443-2174.

D’Erasmo is the author of three novels with accolades including a New York Times Notable Book, a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Newsday, a Lambda Literary Award and a Ferro-Grumley Award. Her last novel was the “The Sky Below” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). D’Erasmo’s articles and podcasts have been published in The New York Times Book Review, New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares and the Los Angeles Times. D’Erasmo was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has been a faculty member at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in 2007 and 2008. Currently, she is an assistant professor at Columbia University.

LaValle is the author of the short story collection “Slapboxing with Jesus” (Vintage 1999) and two novels, “The Ecstatic” (Vintage 2003) and “Big Machine” (Spiegel & Grau 2009), which won the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel in 2009, an Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and an American Book Award in 2010. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the key to Southeast Queens. LaValle has also written essays and book reviews for GQ, Essence Magazine, The Fader and the Washington Post, among others. LaValle is an assistant professor at the Columbia University School of the Arts.

Lipsyte is the author of the story collection “Venus Drive” (Grove Press, Open City Books, 2000), which was named one of the top 25 books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement. Lipsyte also wrote three novels, including “The Ask” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010) and “Home Land: A Novel” (Picador 2004), which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the first annual Believer Book Award. Lipsyte’s latest novel, “The Subject Steve” (Picador) is set to be released in March 2011.

Kelly is SU's Richard Elman Visiting Writer. She is the author of “The Orchard” (BOA Editions Ltd., 2004), which was named a finalist in three notable categories: the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. Kelly’s other poetry collections are “Song” (BOA Editions, 1994), the 1994 Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the 1995 Los Angeles Times Book Award; and “To the Place of Trumpets” (Yale University Press, 1988), selected by James Merrill for the 1987 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. She is a recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Additional awards and honors include a Discovery/The Nation award, the Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from the Whiting Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Kelly’s poems have been anthologized in five Pushcart Prize volumes and six Best American Poetry collections, and have appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Nation, The Yale Review and Poetry, among others. Kelly teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois and was given both humanities and campuswide awards for excellence in teaching. This lecture is made possible by the Richard Elman Memorial Fund for Creative Writing, established by Leonard and Elsie Elman, both of the Class of '52.

has published 11 poetry collections, including “Ruby for Grief” (University of Pittsburgh, 1981); “My Secret Boat,” a notebook of prose and poems (W.W. Norton, 1990); “Entire Dilemma” (Sarabande Books, 1998); and “Unsleeping” (Sarabande Books, 2001). Burkard’s latest book is “lucky coat anywhere” (Nightbooks, 2011). He has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, two grants from both the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is an associate professor in the English Department of SU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Smith is the author of six books of poems, most recently, “Devotions” (University of Chicago, 2011). His fourth book,“The Other Lover” (University of Chicago, 2000) was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, the Paris Review, the Partisan Review, the American Poetry Review and many others. Essays and reviews of his have appeared in Harvard Review, Boston Review and Newsday. He has been a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as twice receiving grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Arts.