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Sandra Beasley Reading

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From Dr. Gordon Johnston, Director of the Creative Writing Major at Mercer University:

“Young, up-and-coming poet and nonfiction writer Sandra Beasley will be on Mercer’s Macon campus Wednesday, April 2 to offer a free, open-to-the-public reading at 7 p.m. in the Choir Rehearsal Room of the school of music and a writing workshop for creative writing majors and minors. Beasley is the author of the nonfiction book Allergy Girl and of the poetry collections I Was the Jukebox and Theories of Falling. Her work has appeared in Slate, the Washington Post Magazine, and Poetry.”

For samples of this writer’s work and for more information, contact Gordon Johnston, Director of the Creative Writing Major and Minor in English at (478) 301-2588 or by e-mail at johnston_gg@mercer.edu.

Jim Grimsley: Good White People

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To make up for the inclement weather, Jim Grimsley will be hosting a reading of his forthcoming memoir, Good White People, on Wednesday at 7:30pm in the Choir Rehearsal room of the Townsend School of Music.

From Dr. Gordon Johnston:

“Celebrated Southern novelist, sci-fi writer, and playwright Jim Grimsley, Ferrol A. Sams Jr. Distinguished Writer in Residence for 2014 at Mercer University, will offer a presentation from his newly completed memoir “Good White People” this Wednesday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Choir Rehearsal Room of the Townsend School of Music. The event is part of Looking Back, Moving Forward, Mercer’s community contemplation of the 50th anniversary of the college’s integration.  (This event is  rescheduling of the earlier presentation postponed due to snow.)

Grimsley, a playwright and novelist born in North Carolina in 1955, completed his new nonfiction book — a memoir about growing up in the racial tension that permeated his small hometown — while in residence on Mercer’s Macon campus.

Grimsley’s residency, which honors the memory of beloved doctor, author, and Mercerian Ferrol A. Sams, Jr., author of Run With the Horsemen, When All the World Was Young, Down Town and other books, is made possible by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.

For samples of Jim Grimsley’s fiction and drama and for more information, contact Gordon Johnston, Director of the Creative Writing Major and Minor in English at (478) 301-2588 or by e-mail at johnston_gg@mercer.edu.

More Information:

Grimsley, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, saw his first novel Winter Birds published by Algonquin Books in the United States in 1994. The novel won the 1995 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Prix Charles Brisset, given by the French Academy of Physicians. The novel also received a special citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation as one of three finalists for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Jim’s second novel, Dream Boy, was published by Algonquin in September, 1995, and won the 1996 Award for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Literature from the American Library Association; the novel was also one of five finalists for the Lambda Literary Award. Dream Boy was adapted for the stage by Eric Rosen, the play premiering at About Face Theatre in Chicago in 1996. Grimsley’s third novel, My Drowning, was published in 1997 and for this book Jim was named Georgia Author of the Year. His fourth novel, Comfort & Joy was a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and his fifth novel, Boulevard, was published in April, 2002; for this novel he was named Georgia Author of the Year for the second time. He is also the author of the novels Comfort and Joy (1999) and Forgiveness (2006) and of the short story collection Jesus Is Sending You This Message (2008).

A dramatist as well, Grimsley has written eleven full-length and four one-act plays, including Mr. Universe, The Lizard of Tarsus, White People and The Existentialists. A collection of his plays, Mr. Universe and Other Plays, was published by Algonquin in 1998, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in drama. He has been playwright-in-residence at 7Stages Theatre of Atlanta since 1986 and was playwright in residence at About Face Theatre of Chicago from 2000-2004. In 1988 he was awarded the George Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Playwright for his play Mr. Universe. He was also awarded the first-ever Bryan Prize for Drama, presented by the Fellowship of Southern Writers for distinguished achievement in play writing, in 1993.

Grimsley was a 1997 winner of the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Writers Award. His first fantasy novel, Kirith Kirin, was published by Meisha Merlin Press in June, 2000 and won the Lambda Literary Award in the Science Fiction/Horror category. He has since published two subsequent science fiction novels set in the same universe, The Ordinary and The Last Green Tree, both with Tor Books of NY. The Ordinary was awarded a Lammy in 2005. His short fiction has been anthologized in The Year’s Best Science Fiction (sixteenth and nineteenth annual collections), edited by Gardner Dozois, in Best New Stories from the South, 2001 edition, edited by Shannon Ravenel, and in other anthologies. He is a member of PEN, Dramatists Guild, Alternate ROOTS, and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. He has twice been a finalist for the Rome Prize in Literature. In 2005, he won an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his work as a playwright and novelist. In 2006 he, along with Dorothy Allison, was one of the inaugural winners of the Mid-Career Author’s Award from the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival.”