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Written Word initiative to host ‘Three Emerging Writers’

From Staff Reports

“Three Emerging Writers” – Shuly Xóchitl Cawood, Ciona Rouse and Larry Thacker – will visit East Tennessee State University virtually on Wednesday, March 3, to work with university students and to give a free public reading of their work.

The reading will begin at 4 p.m. via Zoom. Each writer will present a 15- to 20-minute reading.

The “Three Emerging Writers” series is a popular and well-attended program featuring public poetry and fiction readings and class visits by successful authors who are in the early stages of their careers. Since the first “Three Emerging Writers” event in 2011, a variety of acclaimed writers have been featured guests, including Wiley Cash, Amy Greene, Elizabethton native Melissa Range, Kristin Robertson and more.

“These events are student-focused, with multiple opportunities provided for ETSU undergraduate and graduate students to engage with accomplished writers,” said Dr. Jesse Graves, associate professor of English and poet in residence in ETSU’s Department of Literature and Language. “The program is a boon to our thriving minor in creative writing, and all ETSU students and the community are invited to attend and benefit from the event.”

Cawood grew up writing stories on her father’s blue Selectric typewriter. She is the author of the short story collection, “A Small Thing to Want,” and a memoir, “The Going and Goodbye.” Her debut poetry collection, “Trouble Can Be So Beautiful at the Beginning,” just published by Mercer University Press, won the Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry. Her writing has also been published in Brevity, The Rumpus and The Sun. Cawood, who received her MFA in creative writing from Queens University and her M.A. in journalism from The Ohio State University, teaches memoir and essay workshops and runs prompt-writing sessions.

Rouse is a poet and teaching artist. The author of “Vantablack,” the first chapbook of “Third Man Books,” her poetry has also appeared in Oxford American, The Account, Talking River, Gabby Journal, Matter: a journal of political poetry and commentary, and other publications. Rouse is poetry editor of Wordpeace and curator of several reading series in Nashville, and teaches poetry workshops and courses to various age groups. She cohosts “Re/VERB,” a Third Man Books podcast where literature and pop culture meet, with poet Kendra DeColo.

Thacker is a Kentuckian writer, artist and educator hailing from Johnson City. His poetry is in over 170 publications, and his books include three full poetry collections, “Drifting in Awe,” “Grave Robber Confessional” and “Feasts of Evasion,” as well as the folk history, “Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia.” His collection of short stories, “Working it Off in Labor County,” is forthcoming from West Virginia University Press. He holds an MFA in poetry and fiction from West Virginia Wesleyan College and lives with his wife, Karin, and their cat, Abraham Lincoln.

“Three Emerging Writers” is sponsored by ETSU’s Bert C. Bach Written Word Initiative and the student-run Creative Writing Society, and supported by the Department of Literature and Language.

For more information or to obtain the Zoom ID, contact Lydia Carr at [email protected]