Just announced: Richard Bausch, holder of the Moss Chair of Excellence in English at the University of Memphis, has won the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for fiction for his novel Peace (now in paperback, from Vintage). The honorarium: $10,000.
Bausch is winner along with author Benjamin Skinner for A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery. (The runners-up for this year's prize: Uwem Akpan's Say You're One of Them, named the next Oprah's Book Club selection, and Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution ... and How It Can Renew America.)
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, launched in 2006, is awarded annually to works of fiction and nonfiction that use "the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding." Peace is that: a meditation on the corrosive effects of violence among a group of American soldiers in World War II Italy.
In his statement on Dayton's website, Bausch said, "I am honored to receive the prize — especially when I see the books that were nominated along with mine. It is heartening to be judged worthy of that company, and to be singled out among them is deeply humbling."
Richard Bausch and the other winning authors will be recognized in an awards ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on November 8th.
On Thursday, October 1st, Root will teach a master class at 2 p.m. in Patterson Hall; at 7 p.m., he'll be reading from and signing copies of his books in Mitchell Hall Auditorium.
Those books by Root include The Nonfictionist's Guide: On Reading and Writing Creative Nonfiction and his latest, Following Isabella: Travels in Colorado Then and Now. In addition to writing, teaching, and regularly visiting creative-writing programs throughout the country, Root is an editor at the journal Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction.
Both of Root's appearances at the University of Memphis are free and open to the public. For more information, call 678-4692 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
On writer (and current Memphian) C. Bard Cole's latest book, the experimental This Is Where My Life Went Wrong (BLATT Books): a [Q]&A.
My friend in Memphis, Brian Pera ... I've known him since the late 1990s. I'd met him in New York City. We had the same editor at St. Martin's for our first books.
Brian was planning to start shooting his first movie, The Way I See Things. He had one position he could pay for and that he hadn't filled. It was boom operator. Brian said, "Do you want to work on my movie? You can forget about New Orleans for the month or so it'll take to shoot." I said okay. The cinematographer on that movie, Ryan Parker, trained me to operate the boom. I had a great time.
Then I went home to Maryland to figure out what I was going to do ... hoard some money. Tulane had canceled the semester. It had fired the instructors in my position ... first-year writing instructor. So I worked at a commercial greenhouse in Maryland.
Then Ryan helped me get a job at WKNO in Memphis, and that's where I've been ever since. I started as a production assistant doing all sorts of stuff — from manual labor to working on sets to learning about editing. Now I'm in promotions and the public information department.
There's another movie with Brian and Ryan coming up. I'm the production designer, and this time, we're trying to be a bit more "Hollywood." Ann Magnuson is gonna be one of our stars. I'm excited to meet her. When I was a little kid, well, not a little kid, a teenager, I used to look at Interview magazine and things I thought were cool, urban ... New York. Ann was there, right in there.
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.
In case you don't recognize the name Wayne White, he grew up in the 1960s on the outskirts of Chattanooga, he studied art at Middle Tennessee State University, and he was in New York City when the downtown art scene there was heating up in the late '70s and early '80s. He was already an accomplished cartoonist and illustrator, and he was lucky enough to join the crew as an Emmy Award-winning puppeteer and set designer on Pee-wee's Playhouse. He also worked on music videos with Peter Gabriel ("Big Time") and Smashing Pumpkins ("Tonight, Tonight"). A painting of White's is a Lambchop album cover ("Nixon").