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M.F.A. Program's Writer-in-Residence To Give Lecture Today at ODU

Literary biographer Blake Bailey, a 2009 National Book Award finalist, Norfolk resident and the 2010 Old Dominion University writer-in-residence, will visit the campus for two weeks this month.

Bailey is the author, most recently, of "Cheever: A Life," a biography about short story writer John Cheever. Bailey also edited a two-volume edition of Cheever's work for the Library of America. His last book, "A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates," was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005, and his articles and reviews have appeared in Slate, The New York Times, New York Observer and elsewhere.

An article about Bailey's work appeared recently in The Virginian-Pilot.

Bailey, the writer-in-residence for ODU's M.F.A. program in creative writing, delivered a reading and book signing last Friday in the University Village Bookstore and will give a craft talk from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Perry Library, room 151. The lecture is free and open to the public.

"We're always pleased to be able to bring one writer of national reputation to campus each fall and spring through our Writer-in-Residence program," remarked Luisa Igloria, graduate program director for ODU's M.F.A. in creative writing. "Our students have the wonderful opportunity to work up close and one-on-one in writing tutorials with established writers, to learn about craft, writing strategies, and their personal experiences in a more informal setting."

During their two weeks on campus, writers-in-residence give public readings and craft talks to the academic and general community. Previous ODU writers-in-residence have included Brian Turner, Denise Duhamel, Richard Jones, Marilyn Chin, Maribeth Fischer, Greg Bottoms, Kent Nelson, Eloise Klein Healy, Sandra Scofield and Earl Swift.

"Interaction with the writers demystifies the writing life and the writing world, and is also very affirming for our community of writers here," Igloria added.

Old Dominion's M.F.A. program, which began in 1994 with 12 students and three faculty members, now includes an average of 25-35 students each semester who work with the program's talented seven-member creative writing faculty in fiction, poetry and nonfiction.

The M.F.A. faculty - Michael Blumenthal, Igloria, John McManus, Michael Pearson, Janet Peery, Sheri Reynolds and Tim Seibles - have published many highly acclaimed books.

More information about the M.F.A. program in creative writing is available here.

This article was posted on: February 17, 2010

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