ISSUED: 31 August 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Costa
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Internationally-acclaimed novelist, essayist, and poet Barbara Kingsolver will visit Shepherd University September 27-29 as the 2022 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence. Kingsolver will be awarded the Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award on Thursday, September 29, and participate in several activities and programs on campus and in the local community.
Kingsolver has received many awards, including the National Humanities Medal, the United States’ highest honor for service through the arts, from President Bill Clinton in 2000. Her novel “The Poisonwood Bible” was shortlisted for both the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award, and she was named one of the most important writers of the 20th Century by Writers Digest. Every book that Kingsolver has written since 1993’s “Pigs in Heaven” has been on The New York Times Best Seller list.
In 1998, Kingsolver established what is now called the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, the nation’s largest prize for an unpublished first novel.
Shepherd will host several public events from September 23-30 celebrating the Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence. All events, which are free and open to the public, are available in person and virtually.
Through the month of September:
- “Anthology of Appalachian Writers” photographic art exhibit, Shepherd University Scarborough Library Reading Room. Library hours are Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturday noon-4:30 p.m.; and Sunday noon-8 p.m. The library will be closed on Labor Day weekend—September 3, 4, and 5—and during all home football games—September 10 and 17.
Friday, September 23:
- 7 p.m., “Dark Waters” screening and discussion, Shepherd University Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium. The Shepherdstown Film Society will screen the award-winning film “Dark Waters,” based on a true story about a West Virginia farmer and his lawyer, who fight and win a legal battle with the DuPont Corporation. A discussion led by Dr. Peter Vila, associate professor of environmental and physical sciences, will follow.
Monday, September 26:
- 7 p.m., “Connected: Reflections on Ecology, Technology, and the Human Condition with Dr. Jeff Groff,” Shepherd University Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium. Dr. Groff is the 2019 West Virginia Professor of the Year and the chair of the Shepherd University Department of Environmental and Physical Sciences.
Tuesday, September 27:
- 7 p.m., “A Celebration of Appalachian Storytellers, Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Volume XIV,” Shepherd University Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium. This event is sponsored by the West Virginia Center for the Book and Shepherd University Foundation.
Wednesday, September 28:
- 7 p.m., “The Writing Life” with Barbara Kingsolver, Shepherd University Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium. Kingsolver will discuss her work, the writing process, and her journey as an author and an Appalachian.
Thursday, September 29:
- 2 p.m., Writers’ master class with Barbara Kingsolver, Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium.
- 7 p.m., “Challenges to the Global Village: Appalachia and the Ties that Bind” Scarborough Society lecture and keynote address, Shepherd University Frank Arts Center Theater. Barbara Kingsolver will receive the Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award, present the West Virginia Fiction Competition awards, and give the Scarborough Lecture. The event will be followed by a reception and book signing.
Friday, September 30:
- 7 p.m., “Stories from the Heartland” with storyteller Adam Booth, Shepherd University Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium.
To join virtually, visit the Writer-in-Residence webpage.
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