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2013-2014 Authors

All Visiting Writers events are free and open to the public.
No tickets are required.


Future Visiting Writers

The 2014-2015 Schedule is coming soon!

Past Visiting Writers

An Evening with Jon Meacham

Thursday, September 12, 2013
P. E. Monroe Auditorium, 7:00 pm

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and executive editor at Random House. He is a former co-anchor of the public-affairs broadcast “Need to Know on PBS” and former editor of Newsweek. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, a number one New York Times bestseller. It has been named one of the best books of 2012 by the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and the Seattle Times, among others. His book American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. He is also the author of two more bestsellers: Franklin and Winston (2003) and American Gospel (2006). Meacham, executive editor and executive vice president of Random House, is a contributing editor to Time magazine, former editor of Newsweek, and has written for publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, among others. Gordon Wood says of Meacham’s Thomas Jefferson, “Probably the best single-volume biography of Jefferson ever written.”



An Evening with Martin Marty

Co-sponsored by LRU's Institute for Faith & Learning
Friday, September 13, 2013
Belk Centrum, 7:00 pm

Martin Marty is an American Lutheran religious scholar and author of more than 60 books. His book Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America (1970) won the National Book Award for Philosophy and Religion. Among his other books are the three-volume Modern American Religion; the five-volume The Fundamentalist Project; Being Good and Doing Good; Martin Luther; and Lutheran Questions, Lutheran Answers. Marty is not only an author, but he is also a pastor, speaker, teacher, columnist, and editor. He was a professor of religious history at the University of Chicago Divinity School for 35 years, where he received the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus. Other honors and awards he has received include the National Humanities Medal, the Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Distinguished Service Medal of the Association of Theological Schools, the Order of Lincoln Medallion (Illinois’ top honor), and 80 honorary doctorates. 



An Evening with James Dodson

Monday, October 14, 2013
The Green Room Community Theatre (Newton, NC), 7:00 pm

James Dodson is one of today’s most esteemed golf writers. He is the editor of award-winning PineStraw Magazine in Southern Pines, North Carolina, the arts and culture magazine of the Carolina Sandhills. Dodson’s journalism awards include the prestigious William Allen White Award for Public Affairs Journalism from the University of Kansas. His work has appeared in over fifty magazines and newspapers worldwide. His bestselling  books include Final Rounds, Beautiful Madness, The Dewsweepers, The Road to Somewhere, Faithful Travelers, A Golfers Life (with Arnold Palmer), and  Ben Hogan: An American Life, which won the USGA International Book Award in 2005. His 1996 book Final Rounds was awarded the Golf Book of the Year from the International Network of Golf. He wrote a column for Golf Magazine for nearly twenty years, and in 2011 he received the Donald Ross Award from the American Society of Golf Course Architects for his contribution to golf literature. His most recent book is American Triumvirate: How Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson Created the Modern Age of Golf (2012).



An Evening with Junot Díaz

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Belk Centrum, 7:00 pm

Junot Díaz, a Dominican-American writer who writes about the struggles of life as an immigrant, is a Pulitzer Prize winner. His book This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller, was a National Book Award finalist. More of his critically acclaimed works include Drown and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Díaz co-founded the Voices of Our Nation Workshop, a place for minority writers to come together and participate in writing workshops. He was recently awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. About his book This Is How You Lose Her, Publishers Weekly says, “Raw and honest, these stories pulsate with raspy ghetto hip-hop and the subtler yet more vital echo of the human heart.” He is the current Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



An Evening with A. S. Byatt

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
P. E. Monroe Auditorium, 7:00 pm

A. S. Byatt is a novelist, short story writer, and poet. She is renowned internationally for all of her works. Her novels include the Booker Prize-winning Possession: A Romance, The Biographer’s Tale, The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower, and A Whistling Woman. Her most recent novel, The Children’s Book, was published in 2009. Her highly acclaimed collections of short stories include Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye, Elementals, and Little Black Book of Stories. Byatt is also a distinguished critic and the editor of The Oxford Book of the English Short Story. She was recognized for her talent and acclaimed status in 1990 and awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire). In 1999, she was given damehood (DBE). The Times newspaper recognized Byatt in 2008 as one of the greatest British writers since 1945.



An Evening with Lou Berney

Thursday, November 21, 2013
Belk Centrum, 7:00 pm

Lou Berney is an accomplished novelist and teacher. He is the author of Gutshot Straight, which was nominated for a Barry Award and named on the best debut crime novels of 2010 by Booklist, and its sequel Whiplash River. He has published a collection of short stories titled The Road to Bobby Joe and Other Stories. More of his short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. Berney has also written feature screenplays and created TV pilots for Warner Brothers, Paramount, ABC, and Fox, among others. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University.



An Evening with Belle Boggs

LRU Spring 2014 Writer-in-Residence
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Belk Centrum, 7:00 pm

Belle Boggs is LRU’s Spring 2014 Visiting Writer-in-Residence. Her first book, Mattaponi Queen, published in 2010, is a collection of short stories that won the Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Award. Kirkus Reviews named it as one of the best debut fiction books of 2010. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in venues like The Paris Review, Glimmer Train, At Length, storySouth, Five Chapters, Oxford American, Blackbird, and Orion. Kirkus Reviews says of Boggs and Mattaponi Queen, “[Boggs] writes with subtlety, empathy, and command, so that every page features small surprises: jolts of recognition, pungent dialogue, keen observations. Unfussy, understated, and richly varied stories—a promising debut.” Southern Living has also given Boggs the epithet of “Best New Southern Author.”

An Evening with Isabel Wilkerson

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Belk Centrum, 7:00 pm

Isabel Wilkerson is the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in the history of American journalism. She is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, a New York Times and international best seller. In writing on the great migration, Wilkerson used the story of her parents’ migration to fuel her fifteen years of extensive research. The result was, according to Tom Brokaw, “an epic for all Americans who want to understand the making of our modern nation.” John Stauffer of the Wall Street Journal claims that “The Warmth of Other Suns is a brilliant and stirring epic. . . . [Ms. Wilkerson] humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth.” The Warmth of Other Suns was a National Book Critics Circle Award Winner and named one of the best books of the year according to the New York TimesThe New Yorker, and the Boston Globe, among many others.



An Evening with Joseph Bathanti

Thursday, March 6, 2014
Belk Centrum, 7:00 pm

Joseph Bathanti is a poet, novelist, professor, and North Carolinian. He is the author of six books of poetry: Communion PartnersAnson CountyThe Feast of All SaintsThis Metal, which was nominated for The National Book Award, Land of Amnesia, and Restoring Sacred Art. His first novel, East Liberty, was published in 2001 and won the Carolina Novel Award. His latest novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. Bathanti has also published a collection of short stories, The High Heart, and a work of nonfiction, They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971-1995. He is the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council; the Samuel Talmadge Ragan Award, which is presented annually for outstanding contributions to the fine arts of North Carolina; the Linda Flowers Prize; the Sherwood Anderson Award; the 2007 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize; and others. He is professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. On August 30, 2012, Joseph was named Poet Laureate of North Carolina.



An Evening with Sherman Alexie

Thursday, March 27, 2014
Belk Centrum, 7:00 pm

Sherman Alexie, a poet, writer, and filmmaker, is known for his ability to convey life on a Native American reservation. In his work, Alexie illustrates the difficulties and challenges that have to be faced daily on a reservation. He uses his experiences as inspiration for his short stories and poetry collections. His first novel, Reservation Blues, received an American Book Award. Prior to Reservation Blues, Alexie was awarded a PEN/Hemingway Award for his short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven. Recently, Alexie received a National Book Award for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a novel for young adults. He was also presented with the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for War Dances, a collection of short stories and poems.



An Afternoon with Mary Pope Osborne

The Little Read 2014 Author
Saturday, April 5, 2014
P. E. Monroe Auditorium, 12:00 Noon

Mary Pope Osborne is a children’s book author. She is known for the highly imaginative and successful Magic Tree House series, which won her a Lifetime Achievement Award. She has published 45 books—soon to be 46—in the series. They have been translated into over 30 languages and sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Osborne has published numerous young adult books alongside of her highly acclaimed Magic Tree House series. Some of these include Haunted WatersAdaline Falling Star; and Run, Run as Fast as You Can. Not only has she published children’s books and young adult novels, but also she has published numerous biographies, folklore, fairytales, and picture books. Praising the Magic Tree House series, Children’s Literature writes, “Mary Pope Osborne provides nicely paced excitement for young readers, and there’s just enough information mixed in so that children will take away some historical fact along with a sense of accomplishment at having completed a chapter book.”









Visiting Writers Series

2013-2014 Season:
Jon Meacham
Martin Marty
James Dodson
Junot Diaz
A.S. Byatt
Lou Berney
Belle Boggs
Isabel Wilkerson
Joseph Bathanti
Sherman Alexie
Mary Pope Osborne

Everything you need to apply for admission is right here.