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SCC Arnow Conference will be held on Friday, April 8

The 9th Annual Harriette Arnow Conference on Appalachian Literature and Culture will be held on April 8, 2011 at Somerset Community College. It will begin in the Harold Rogers Student Commons with registration at 8:30 a.m. The theme of the conference is Appalachian Voices: Contemporary Womens Voices from Arnows Heartland.

Creative writing workshops will be available throughout the day and will be conducted by Kentucky writers and scholars: Crystal Wilkinson, Bianca Spriggs, Wanda Fries, and Sherry Robinson. Gurney Norman will also be reading and speaking at the conclusion of the conference. The registration fee is $20.00 and can be paid on April 8.

Crystal Wilkinson was born in Hamilton, Ohio, and raised in Indian Creek, Casey County, Kentucky, by her grandparents, who gave her the freedom to explore the countryside and to write, to dream, to discover. One of the first generations of her family to attend college, she earned a BA in Journalism from EKU and an MFA from Spalding University. Her first collection of short stories, Blackberries, Blackberries (2000), and her second, Water Street (2002), were both published by Toby Press. Wilkinson has presented workshops and readings around the country. Having previously taught at Indiana University, she is presently teaching at Morehead State University and is anticipating the publication of her latest work, a novel titled The Birds of Opulence.

Affrilachian Poet and Cave Canem Fellow, Bianca Spriggs, is a freelance instructor of composition, literature, and creative writing. She holds degrees from Transylvania University and the University of Wisconsin. She is a recipient of an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, a Kentucky Humanities Council Lecturer, and the creator and programmer of the Gypsy Poetry Slam featured annually at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. Having lived most of her life in Kentucky, Biancas poems reflect the trials and triumphs of growing up as a woman of color in a border state.

Wanda Fries received an MFA from Bennington College. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various journals, most notably Special Report: Fiction and the Michigan Quarterly Review, and New Southerner. Her poem Annunciation was chosen for the first prize in the inaugural James Baker Hall Poetry Award and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. A Bread Loaf Scholar, she has twice received an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. Lee Smith has said of Fries' fiction that it is both "gritty and poetic, real and transcendent." Sena Jeter Naslund calls Fries a powerhouse poet. Fries has taught freshman composition and literature at Somerset Community College for over 20 years.

Sherry Robinson is the author of My Secrets Cry Aloud (2009). She is a Professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University, where she has worked for 18 years. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kentucky and an M.A. in English from Eastern Kentucky University. Her emphasis has been American, Southern, and Appalachian literatures. She is currently Executive Assistant to the Provost for policy and process. Sherry was born in Lexington, Kentucky and has been a resident of Richmond, Kentucky for 26 years. She is currently working on her second novel, I Lay Me Down.

Having served as Kentuckys Poet Laureate for two years, Gurney Norman continues as Director of Creative Writing at the University of Kentucky. His first novel, Divine Rights Trip, was published in 1971, and his collection of short stories, Kinfolks in 1978. He is a co-editor of Back Talk: Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes and An American Vein: Critical Readings in Appalachian Literature. He wrote and narrated three 1-hour documentaries about Kentucky for KET and collaborated on the adaptation of three of his Kinfolks stories, filmed to critical acclaim. His novella-length folktale, Ancient, Creek, is set for release soon.

For more information about the Harriette Arnow Conference, contact Lynn Crabtree, English and Humanities Professor, at 606-451-6765 or lynn.crabtree@kctcs.edu.