Kidd, Mortenson among featured writers in series

The Living Writers Series at SUNY Oswego will kick off Sept. 1 with a celebrated faculty novelist, continue with a “Star Trek Voyager” screenwriter and feature Oswego Reading Initiative guest Chip Kidd and Community Read author Greg Mortenson.

“There is a lot of action going on in creative writing,” said Leigh Wilson, professor of English and creative writing, which collaborates with Artswego to organize the 13-year-old Living Writers Series. Artswego and the student arts fee support most of the visiting writers.

Wilson pointed out that several of this year’s presenters have Oswego connections, including former assistant professor Ira Sukrungruang, who now teaches at the University of South Florida and recently published a memoir, “Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy.”

“It’s a very nice blend of outside and home writers,” said Wilson. All events are open to the public, and all are free except that of Mortenson, whose “Three Cups of Tea” is the subject of this year’s Community Read in Oswego.

Mortenson will appear at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Campus Center arena to discuss his bestselling book, which relates his efforts to build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Tickets are $20, with 500 free tickets available for SUNY Oswego students through the Campus Center box office, 312-3073. Adults with children in the Oswego City School District can receive a free ticket from another lot of 500 if they purchase one through the superintendent’s office, 341-2001. Besides the college and school district, Pathfinder Bank and River’s End Bookstore also sponsor Community Read.

ORI selection

Kidd, a celebrated book-cover designer and novelist, will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre about graphic arts and his book, “The Learners,” as part of the campus-wide Oswego Reading Initiative. The book is about a designer whose training and career take comic twists and turns, revealing much about American culture.

Kidd also will appear in classes at 12:40 and 3 p.m. that day in the Campus Center auditorium. All of Kidd’s appearances are free and open to the campus and community.

Wilson teaches a course called “Living Writers Series,” and has scheduled the following speakers at 3 p.m. Mondays or Wednesdays in class/public presentations in the Campus Center auditorium:

* Sept. 1—Robert O’Connor of SUNY Oswego’s graduate creative writing faculty and author of “Buffalo Soldiers” will discuss the multiple “Star Trek” television series and the creation of science fiction and fantasy universes.

* Sept. 13—Mark Haskell Smith, author of “Baked”—a wild fictional romp through murder, mayhem and altered states—also is a television writer whose credits include “Star Trek Voyager.”

* Sept. 27—Teri Youmans Grimm, author of “Dirt Eaters” and a poet of the American underclass.

* Oct. 4—Sukrungruang, the former SUNY Oswego faculty member, speaking about being the only child of immigrants, including a mother who joked about returning home to Thailand the moment she began unpacking in Chicago, and a father who left another family behind.

* Oct. 27—Short-story writer Jaime Wriston Colbert will speak about her compilation “Dream Lives of Butterflies,” whose characters are full of sass and attitude.

* Nov. 8—Amy Hassinger, novelist and essayist, whose work including “Nina: Adolescence” has won plaudits from Oprah Winfrey’s magazine O and Salon.com.

Writers among SUNY Oswego faculty and staff also will appear, including Lewis Turco (Sept. 20), Jeffrey Gardiner (Oct. 11), Donna Steiner (Oct. 25), Brad Korbesmeyer (Nov. 15), Howard Gordon (Nov. 22), a second O’Connor appearance (Nov. 29) and Shannon Pritting (Dec. 1).

For more information, contact the English and creative writing department at 312-2153.

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(Posted: Aug 23, 2010)

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