West Virginia University’s Department of English 2009 Sturm Writer-in-Residence is award-winning author Janet Peery. She will hold a reading on October 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Brooks Hall Room 202.

Peery will read from “What the Thunder Said,” a short story set in the Dust Bowl era that follows a young woman’s disastrous affair as she tries to find signs and meaning in the natural world in order to justify her choices. A reception and book signing will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public.

Additionally, she will work with creative writing students throughout the week as part of the Sturm Workshop.

During the Workshop, Peery will analyze and critique original fiction, guide practice in the elements of craft, and provide advice on life in writing and publishing. Twelve students will be selected to participate on the basis of a campus-wide writing competition. Students from all majors are eligible to submit a creative writing sample for consideration.

Peery is the author of “The River Beyond the World,” which was named a National Book Award finalist for fiction in 1996, and a collection of short stories, called “Alligator Dance.” Her work has also appeared in many literary journals, including “Best American Short Stories 1993,” and the “Pushcart Prize Book of Stories.”

Peery is currently a professor of creative writing at Old Dominion University, where she has taught in the Department of English since 1993. She earned a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology and a master’s of fine arts (MFA) degree in creative writing and fiction from Wichita State University in l975 and 1992, respectively.

Her work has earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award, the Whiting Writers Award, the 2008 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction, the 2008 WILLA Award for Contemporary Fiction from Women Writing the West, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

For more information, contact Mark Brazaitis, director of creative writing, at (304) 293-9707 or Mark.Brazaitis@mail.wvu.edu.



CONTACT: Rebecca Herod, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
304-293-7405, ext. 5251, Rebecca.Herod@mail.wvu.edu