NYT bestselling author to open MC’s Appalachian Lecture Series

Sept. 9, 2011
Contact: Karen B. Eldridge, Director of Communications
865.981.8207; karen.eldridge@maryvillecollege.edu

ATTENTION: We regret to announce that the Nov. 10 presentation by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Claudia Emerson has been canceled. Discussions are being held about a presentation in the Spring. Watch the MC website for details.

Amy Greene, author of the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed novel Bloodroot, will open Maryville College’s Appalachian Lecture Series on Sept. 20.

Greene’s presentation will begin at 8 p.m. in the Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall of the Clayton Center for the Arts and will be followed by a book signing. Both the lecture and book signing are free and open to the public.

Bloodroot is a remarkable first novel; in fact, Booklist ranked it as one of the top 10 debut novels of 2010,” explained Dr. Susan Schneibel, professor of comparative literature at the College and chair of the division of languages and literature. “It is an interesting book in that it combines such divergent elements that could easily implode the novel, but Greene, a master of characterization and dialect, controls her material.

“She manages to fuse the violent history of a poor Appalachian family with such remarkably beautiful, healing images of the mountains and the backwoods wisdom of the people who inhabit them.”

Greene, whose official website says she was “born in the foothills of East Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, where she still lives with her husband and two children,” was named the 2010 Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance.

Bloodroot won the Appalachian Studies Association’s 2010 Weatherford Award for fiction, which annually recognizes literature “that illuminates the challenges, personalities and unique qualities of the Appalachian South.”

Greene’s second novel, Long Man, is slated for publication next year by Alfred A. Knopf. It is a Depression-era story of a little girl who goes missing from a town in the Tennessee Valley in the months before the town is flooded by a TVA dam.

Series continues in October

RB Morris, a songwriter, performer, poet and playwright from Knoxville, will continue the series on Oct. 11. His presentation is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall.

Morris’ music is influenced by old-timey standards, gospel and rock and roll, and his writing reveals a reverence for Southern writers, James Joyce, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and William Burroughs.

Titles of his poetry include “Early Fires,” "Littoral Zone” and “the Man Upstairs.” He wrote and acted in “The Man Who Lives Here is Loony,” a one-man play based on the life and work of Knoxville writer James Agee.

Morris served as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee from 2004 until 2008 and was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in 2009.

He has been recording music since the mid 1990s. His debut CD, “Take that Ride” was critically acclaimed, as was the follow-up, “Zeke and the Wheel.” His most recent CD, entitled “Rich Mountain Bound,” includes old love songs, mountain songs, drinking and highway songs sung to the music of the guitar.

Mixing poetry-as-performance-art with original songs, Morris delivers provocative and unique shows.

Poet brings series to a close

Pulitzer Prize-winner Claudia Emerson will read from her poetry during a lecture scheduled for 7 p.m., Nov. 10 in the Lawson Auditorium of Fayerweather Hall.

Emerson, who won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her collection Late Wife, is a professor of English and Arrington Distinguished Chair in Poetry at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.

She was the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2008 until 2010 and has received the Guggenheim Fellowship for 2011. She is a contributing editor of the literary magazine Shenandoah.

In addition to Late Wife, her other works of poetry include Pharaoh, Pharaoh; Pinion, An Elegy and Figure Studies.

Emerson will sign copies of her book following the lecture.

Lecture series is tradition at College

Begun at Maryville College in 1988, the Appalachian Lecture Series was “envisioned as a vehicle for recognizing the unique and valuable contributions of Southern Appalachian culture,” Schneibel said.

“For over two decades, the series has invited artists, scholars, musicians, writers and historians to the College each fall to give presentations on the heritage, as well as the future of the region.”

For more information on this fall’s series, contact Schneibel at 865.981.8251 or susan.schneibel@maryvillecollege.edu.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester is 1,168.