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Hamilton to Host International Writers Festival


Chris Abani, Vijay Seshadri, Valzhyna Mort
Chris Abani, Vijay Seshadri, Valzhyna Mort

Hamilton College will host an International Writers Festival with appearances by novelist/poet Chris Abani, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri and Valzhyna Mort on Friday, Feb. 27, and Saturday, Feb. 28, on campus.  All events are free and open to the public.

Abani will give a keynote reading on Friday at 8 p.m. in the College Chapel.  It will be followed by a reception in Dwight Lounge, Bristol Center.

Saturday will feature a panel discussion on “Freedom of Speech” with Abani, Seshadri and Mort, moderated by Hamilton Professor of English and Creative Writing Doran Larson, at 10:30 a.m., in the All Night Reading Room, Burke Library.  A light breakfast will be available before the event.

Later, a poetry reading by Mort and Seshadri will take place at 4 p.m., in Burke Library Commons.

Chris Abani’s books of fiction include The Secret History of Las Vegas, Song For Night, The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail, Graceland, and Masters of the Board. His poetry collections are Sanctificum, There Are No Names for Red, Feed Me The Sun: Collected Long Poems, Hands Washing Water, Dog Woman, Daphne’s Lot, and Kalakuta Republic. Abani is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the Hurston Wright Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many honors.

Vijay Seshadri is the author of three collections of poetry: 3 Sections, which was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, The Long Meadow, which won the James Laughlin Award, and Wild Kingdom. His poems, essays and reviews have appeared in the American Scholar, the Nation, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Southwest Review, Western Humanities Review, Yale Review, the Times Book Review and the Philadelphia Inquirer, among others, and in many anthologies, including Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets, Contours of the Heart, Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times, and Best American Poetry.

Valzhyna Mort is the author of Collected Body and Factory of Tears. In 2010, she received the Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine. She has been a resident poet at Literarisches Colloquium in Berlin, Germany, and Internationales Haus der Autoren Graz, Austria, and her English translations of Eastern European poets have appeared in the New European Poets anthology.

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