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UTPA Creative Writing Institute June 11-15 to host award-winning author
Posted: 06/11/2007
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Students, faculty, staff and community members with an interest in creative writing will have an opportunity to learn from nationally prominent poet/author Thomas Centolella during the annual Creative Writing Institute June 11-15 hosted by the Department of English at The University of Texas-Pan American.

The institute offers an intensive week of classes, workshops, panels and readings as well as two weeks of independent study for enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, particularly those in UTPA's new Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program.

Panel presentations on topics such as publishing, border writers and the interface between literature, art and music and evening readings are free and open to the public. All public events will be held in the Schilling Room on the second floor of the UTPA Library. The panel presentations will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. and evening readings at 7:30 p.m. each day June 11-14.

Centolella, who will read from his work Wednesday, June 13, is the author of several books of poetry including "Terra Firma" (selected by Denise Levertov for the 1990 National Poetry Series), "Lights & Mysteries" (which received the 1996 Poetry Medal from the Commonwealth Club of California), and "Views from Along the Middle Way." He is a recipient of the prestigious Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, the College of Marin California, and in the California Poets in the Schools Program.

Additional invited writers for evening readings include Daniel García Ordaz, author of the poetry collection "You Know What I'm Saying" and UTPA faculty member Rob Johnson, author of "The Lost Years of William S. Burroughs." Department of English faculty members and published creative writers Steven Schneider, Eric Miles Williamson, and Emmy Pérez will conduct the workshop classes and also participate in afternoon panels and evening readings.

García Ordaz and Pérez will read Monday, June 11 while Schneider, Williamson and Johnson will read on Tuesday, June 12. Enrolled institute students will also give public readings of their creative work on Thursday, June 14.

Schneider, who is teaching a graduate poetry workshop in the institute, has written five books, including "Prairie Air Show," a collection of poems, and "A.R. Ammons and the Poetics of Widening Scope," a critical study of Ammons' work. His poems and articles have been published in many journals, including Prairie Schooner, The Literary Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Tikkun, and Critical Quarterly.

Williamson is the author of two novels, "Two-Up" (2006) and "East Bay Grease" (1999), and a critical nonfiction book "Oakland, Jack London, and Me" (forthcoming summer 2007). He is an executive editor of American Book Review, associate editor of Boulevard, and fiction editor of Texas Review. He is also on the board of directors for the National Book Critics Circle. He is teaching a graduate fiction workshop in the institute.

Author of the poetry collection "Solstice," Pérez' poems also appear in the anthology "The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry." Her work is forthcoming in "Juanta: Avant-Garde Latino/a Writing" and has appeared in North American Review, Notre Dame Review, New York Quarterly, Indiana Review, and other publications. Pérez is teaching an undergraduate storytelling workshop (multi-genre) in the institute.

Students enrolled in the Creative Writing Institute receive university credit for the successful completion of a writing course. In the two weeks following the public events, they will have the opportunity to polish their creative portfolios in consultation with faculty members.

For registration or more information about the Creative Writing Institute, call 956/381-3421.