Authors to invade Wellesley

Wellesley College’s Newhouse Center for the Humanities has released its Distinguished Author Series line-up, a series of public readings/discussions to be held over the next few months. All events will be held at 4:30pm at 237 Green Hall.

* Chris Abani and Achy Obejas (Tuesday, February 23) Born in eastern Nigeria and currently a resident of southern California,  Abani calls himself an “Ibo citizen of the world.” His ten books of prose and poetry have earned several notable awards, including the PEN Hemingway Book Prize, the Prince Claus Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Abani’s most recent collection of poems is Santificum (Copper Canyon, 2010), and his latest work of fiction is the novella, Song for Night (Akashic, 2007). He directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside. Achy Obejas is a novelist, poet, journalist, and translator. Her most recent work of fiction is the novel, Ruins (Akashic, 2009), which is set in Cuba, where she was born. Her work has been translated into Spanish, German, Hungarian, and Farsi, and she has received two Lamda Literary Awards and an NEA Award in Poetry. Obejas is currently the Sor Juana Visiting Writer at DePaul University in Chicago.

* Francine Prose (Tuesday, March 16) Prose’s twelve novels include Blue Angel (Harper Collins, 2000), which was a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award. Her most recent nonfiction book, Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, was released in 2009 by Harper Collins. A fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and a 1999 Director’s Fellow of the New York Public Library’s Center for Scholars and Writers, Prose is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine. She resides in New York City.

* Colum McCann (Tuesday, March 30)
Colum McCann was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1965. He is the author of two story collections and five novels, including This Side of Brightness (Picador, 2003); Dancer (Picador, 2004); Zoli (Random House, 2006); and the 2009 National Book Award-winning novel Let the Great World Spin (Bloomsbury, 2009). His awards include the Rooney Prizeand the Hennessey Award for Irish Literature. McCann lives in New York City, where he teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Hunter College.

*Carolyn Forché and Valzhyna Mort (Tuesday, April 20)
Carolyn Forché is known as a “poet of witness.” Her four collections include The Country Between Us (Harper and Row, 1982), which received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and The Angel of History (Harper Collins,1994), which was chosen for The Los Angeles Times Book Award.  Her most recent collection is Blue Hour (Harper Collins, 2003). Forché is the Lannan Visiting Professor of Poetry and Professor of English at Georgetown University in Maryland. In the words of the Irish Times, Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort is a “risen star of the international poetry world.” Born in the city of Minsk in 1981, Mort made her American debut with the collection Factory of Tears (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), co-translated by the husband-and-wife team of Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright.  Her honors include the Hubert Burda Award for Eastern European Poetry.