An award-winning author and essayist will give a public reading at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, at West Virginia University.

Rachel Cohen will also sign copies of her book,A Chance Meeting,following the reading in the Mountainlair Gold Ballroom.

Cohen won the 2003 PEN /Jerard Fund Award forA Chance Meeting,which traces a chain of 30 American writers and artists who knew, influenced or met one another over the period from the Civil War to the civil rights movement.

She has also written for The New Yorker , The Threepenny Review, McSweeneys and other publications. Her work also appears in Best American Essays 2003 and the forthcoming Pushcart Anthology.

Cohen, who grew up in Ann Arbor, Mich., and graduated from Harvard, teaches in the nonfiction M.F.A. program at Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in Brooklyn.

The WVU Department of English in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences is sponsoring the reading and reception that follows.

For more information, call 293-3107 ext. 33451.