Ten soon-to-be graduates of West Virginia Universitys Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program will give a free, public reading Thursday, May 1.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room 130 of Colson Hall on WVU s Downtown Campus. The student authors, who study in the Department of English in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU , have written novels, essays, short stories and poems. During the reading, the students will share brief selections from their creative writing theses, which all have defended successfully.

Presenting original work are poets Connie Banta of Morgantown, Molly Brodack of Detroit, Amanda Cobb of Elkins, Maggie Glover of Pittsburgh, Heather Mercer of Maumee, Ohio, and Isaac Pressnell of Dayton, Ohio; fiction writers Lisa Dorward of Canoga Park, Calif., Todd Love of Sydney, Australia, and Renée Nicholson of Morgantown; and creative nonfiction writer Ami Schiffbauer of Fairmont.

This is a gifted class of writers, a class we are deeply proud of,said Mark Brazaitis, an associate professor of English who teaches creative writing at WVU .Its also a diverse class in terms of the writerschoices of subject matter and how they approach their material. Our writers have written historical fiction about Australias involvement in World War I, a memoir about growing up in an Italian-American family and intense, lyrical poems about love and loss.

The WVU studentswriting has been published in national literary journals, including Tar River Poetry, Ninth Letter, Northwest Review, Haydens Ferry Review, The Journal, 32 Poems, Georgetown Review, Controlled Burn, Colorado Review, Pank, Malahat Review, Mid-American Review, Paste, Chelsea, Washington Square, Laurel Review, Slant, New Orleans Review, Field, Gettysburg Review and in the anthology,Layers of Possibility: Healing Poetry.The authors have won prestigious prizes, including the Association of Writers and Writing ProgramsIntro Awards and GreenTower Presschapbook prize.

These are writers well be hearing a lot more of,Brazaitis said.Consider this reading both an opportunity to hear great writing and a preview of great things to come.