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2014-2015 Authors

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


Future Visiting Writers



An Evening with Rebecca Skloot

7:00pm Thursday, October 23, 2014
P.E. Monroe Auditorium

Co-Sponsors: Hickory Public Library, the LRU Steelman Science Lecture Series, and the LRU Biology Department

Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning science writer. She is the author of New York Times bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her narrative science has appeared in venues such as The New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Discover, among others. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has remained on the New York Times Bestseller list for four years. More than 60 critics have called her book one of the best of 2010; just a few of these critics include USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, and People Magazine. It is being made into an HBO movie produced by Oprah. Skloot has a B.S. in biological sciences and an MFA in creative nonfiction.



An Evening with Colum McCann

7:00pm Thursday, November 13, 2014
P.E. Monroe Auditorium

Colum McCann is an Irish fiction writer. He has published six novels and two collections of short stories. His most recent novel is TransAtlantic published in 2013. His novel Let the Great World Spin received national and world-wide acclaim. Upon its publication, McCann received the National Book Award for the novel. In 2010 and 2011, the novel was awarded the Best Foreign Novel Award in China and the International Impac Award. Let the Great World Spin was a best-seller on four continents. His work has been published in more than 35 different languages. McCann’s work has been published in venues such as The New Yorker, Esquire, Paris Review, and GQ, among other places. He currently lives in New York where he teaches in the creative writing program at Hunter College.



An Evening with Jesmyn Ward

7:00pm Monday, January 19, 2015
Belk Centrum

Co-Sponsor: LRU Office of Multicultural Affairs

Jesmyn Ward is an American novelist. She published her first novel, Where the Line Bleeds, in 2011. For her second novel, Salvage the Bones, she received the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction and a 2012 Alex Award. Her most recent book, published in 2013, is a memoir titled Men We Reaped. From 2008-2010 Ward was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She has been an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of South Alabama, and she was writer in residence at the University of Mississippi for the 2010-2011 school year. She plans to join the staff at Tulane University in the Fall of 2014.



An Evening with Katherine Howe

7:00pm Thursday, February 12, 2015
Belk Centrum

Katherine Howe is a New York Times bestselling author. She has published two novels, and her third novel, Conversion, will debut in 2014. Her first novel The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane shifts between contemporary times and the Salem Witch Trials. USA Today describes the book as “mesmerizing.” Her second novel The House of Velvet and Glass has received much acclaim. Her work has been translated into more than 25 languages. Howe hosted a series on the National Geographic Channel called “Salem: Unmasking the Devil.” She currently teaches at Cornell and is working on her next novel. 


An Evening with Paul Muldoon

7:00pm Thursday, February 26, 2015
Belk Centrum

Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. From 1973 to 1986, he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is a professor at Princeton University and Founding Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. Since 2007 he has served as poetry editor of The New Yorker. Paul Muldoon's most famous collections of poetry are New Weather, Mules, Quoof, Meeting The British, Madoc: A Mystery, The Annals of Chile, Poems 1968-1998, Maggot, and One Thousand Things Worth Knowing. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Paul Muldoon was elected a Member of the American Academy in Arts and Letters in 2008. Just a few of his most recent awards include the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the 2003 International Griffin Prize, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, and the 2004 Shakespeare Prize. 

An Evening with Nadia Bolz-Weber

7:00pm Thursday, March 5, 2015
P.E. Monroe Auditorium
Co-sponsor: LRU Institute for Faith and Learning

Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding Lutheran pastor of the church House for all Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. The church is a mission congregation that is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Bolz-Weber is the author of Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television. She has also written a memoir titled Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint. She writes for Christian publications such as Christian Century and Sojourners. Phylis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence, says Bolz-Weber “has probably done more than any pastor in recent times to poke therapeutic fun at the misdemeanors and flaws of overly-churched Christianity and Christians. The passion behind her words, however, is as deeply pastoral as it is God-drenched and liberating.” 


An Evening with Joyce Hostetter

Saturday, April 18, 2015 12 o'clock noon
P.E. Monroe Auditorium

Joyce Hostetter is this year’s Little Read author. She is a fellow North Carolinian and an award-winning children’s author. She writes middle grade historical fiction for children. Diseases seem to be a recurring theme in her work. Healing Water (March 08) retells the story of Hawaii's history with leprosy and Blue (2006) is the story of Hickory’s 1944 polio epidemic. However, she says that her first book, Best Friends Forever is “disease free.” It is a story of friendship between two girls, one a Ukrainian Orthodox child and the other an American Mennonite. Of these books, her most famous novel, is Blue.   It received the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award. Her novel Comfort (2009) is the sequel to Blue. Prior to becoming a writer, she ran a pre-school and taught special education. 





Writers So Far 2014


An Evening with George Saunders

7:00pm Thursday, September 4, 2014
P.E. Monroe Auditorium

George Saunders is best-known for his short story collections, which include Pastoralia, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, In Persuasion Nation, and most recently, Tenth of December. Both Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline are recognized as New York Times Most Notable Books. CivilWarLand in Bad Decline was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award. Saunders’ work has appeared in anthologies such as Best American Short Story, Best Science Fiction, and Best Non-Required Reading, among others. Entertainment Weekly named Saunders one of the top 100 most creative people in entertainment. In 2006, Saunders was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and was selected as a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow. In support of his work, he has appeared on talk shows such as The Charlie Rose Show, Late Night with David Letterman, and The Colbert Report. Saunders currently teaches creative writing at Syracuse University.





An Evening with Joshua Bennett

7:00pm Thursday, September 25, 2014
Belk Centrum

Joshua Bennett is an award-winning spoken word poet from New York. He has performed his poetry at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Kennedy Center, the Sundance Film Festival, the NAACP Image Awards, and President Obama’s Evening for Poetry and Music at the White House. He has also performed with Poet Laureates Billy Collins and Rita Dove. Bennett graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a double major in English and Africana Studies. He graduated magna cum laude. He received a Marshall Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. The Marshall Fellowship allowed him to graduate from the University of Warwick, UK with a Masters in Theater and Performance Studies. With the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Bennett is pursuing a PhD in English at Princeton University.




Visiting Writers Series

2014-2015 Season:
George Saunders
Joshua Bennett
Rebecca Skloot
Colum McCann
Jesmyn Ward
Katherine Howe
Nadia Bolz-Weber
Paul Muldoon
Joyce Hostetter

Everything you need to apply for admission is right here.