Whether you read fiction, non-fiction or poetry, if you love books or are an aspiring writer, this outstanding series is for you. Since 1995, Montgomery County’s Writers in Performance series has presented some of the nation’s most distinguished names in literature, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, as well as U.S. and state Poets Laureate. All events are free and open to the public.
Leading off the fall season will be Paul Ruffin, novelist, poet, humorist, columnist and Regents Distinguished Professor of English at Sam Houston State University. He is founding editor of the Texas Review, an international literary journal featuring the finest in fiction, poetry, essays and creative nonfiction.
Ruffin is author of five collections of poetry, two novels, two books of essays and four collections of short stories. Many of his more than 700 poems and 75 short stories have appeared in the nation's most prestigious literary journals and magazines.
At 7 p.m., September 20, Ruffin will read from his latest collection of stories, Jesus in the Mist, 14 darkly comic tales of the Deep South in the spirit of Flannery O'Connor. The event will be held at Montgomery College in Building B, Room 102 (Teaching Theatre). A reception and book signing will follow.
October’s guest writer will be Louisiana poet and playwright, Ava Leavell Haymon, winner of the Louisiana Literature Poetry Prize for 2003. Haymon’s work is published widely in literary journals including Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Northwest Review and The Southern Review. She has five chapbooks, most recent of which is Why the Groundhog Fears Her Shadow.
Her two full-length poetry collections, The Strict Economy of Fire (2004) and Kitchen Heat (2006) are published by LSU Press. Haymon will read at 7 p.m., October 18 at Montgomery College, in Building B, Room 102 (Teaching Theatre). A signing reception will follow.
In November. “The State of Publishing: A Texas Small Press Festival and Book Fair” will host editors and authors from as many as 10 of the leading university and independent literary presses in Texas. Expected participants include Texas A&M Press, Texas Review Press, Arte Publico, Wings Press, Texas Tech University Press, A & M Consortium presses and Mutabolis. There will be keynote speakers, readings and workshops on topics ranging from manuscript preparation and submission, to issues confronting small presses today. Aspiring writers will have an opportunity to meet key editors and writers and the book fair will offer holiday shoppers a chance to shop for readers on their gift list. Each participating press will have authors on hand to personalize books as well as additional books for sale including many hard-to-find signed first editions.
As always, the season will conclude in December with the annual Emily Dickinson birthday celebration. This popular event will feature an afternoon panel of the nation’s leading Dickinson scholars at Montgomery College followed by a party and open-mike reading of Dickinson poetry at the Corner Pub in Conroe.
Writers in Performance is presented by Montgomery County Literary Arts Council, Montgomery College’s Center for Southeast Texas Studies and Academy for Lifelong Learning, Conroe Commission on the Arts and Culture, SWIRL magazine of art and literature, and Humanities Texas - state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Contact Dave Parsons at (936) 524.6537 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.