It's the beginning of another fall semester, but Memphians looking to see, hear, and talk to out-of-town authors will be disappointed -- disappointed that this year the River City Writers Series at the University of Memphis has no authors, at this time, scheduled. Blame it on funding cuts, and hope that it's short-term. It was only last March that the writers series brought Elizabeth Strout to Memphis. A month later, Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for Olive Kitteridge.
Over at Rhodes College, there's, so far, one visiting-author event slated, and it's Thursday, September 17th. That's when the college will host not one but three returning alumnae -- Christina LaPrease, Aisha Sharif, and Caki Wilkinson -- who will read from their poetry starting at 7:30 p.m. in Blount Auditorium inside Buckman Hall.
A little background on the poets:
LaPrease, who graduated from Rhodes in 2006, earned her MFA from Columbia University in 2008. Her poetry was recently adapted for the stage at the Bowery Poetry Club in lower Manhattan and for New York's conceptually based performance outfit FluxConcert. Today she lives in New York and works at the Academy of American Poets.
Sharif (Rhodes, '03) received her MFA from Indiana University-Bloomington, where she served as an instructor of creative writing. In addition to her work appearing in various journals, Sharif in 2006 received the Touchstone Graduate Poetry Award.
After graduating from Rhodes in 2003, Wilkinson went on to Johns Hopkins, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, and Yale Review. In 2008, she received the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Wilkinson is now pursuing a Ph.D. in English at the University of Cincinnati.
The reading at Rhodes is free and open to the public. Questions? Call 843-3794.