The West Virginia Writers’ Workshop, hosted by West Virginia University, will feature nine readings that are free and open to the public by nationally known authors.

The workshop will be celebrating its 16th anniversary this summer when it hosts writers from around the country on WVU’s downtown campus July 19-22.

At 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 19, Mark Brazaitis, Mary Ann Samyn, and Faith Shearin will read. Brazaitis is the author of five books, including “The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala” – winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award – and the forthcoming “The Incurables: Stories” – winner of the Richard Sullivan Prize. Samyn is the author of four full-length poetry collections, including “Purr” and “Beauty Breaks In.” She is a recent winner of WVU’s Benedum Award for outstanding scholarship. Shearin is the author of three full-length poetry collections, including the May Swenson-award-winning “The Owl Question.” Garrison Keillor has read her poems several times on National Public Radio.

At 1:30 p.m. on Friday, July 20, Ren�e Nicholson, whose work has appeared in Mid-American Review and Chelsea, and Mike Czyzniejewski, the author of two books of fiction, including the forthcoming “Chicago Stories,” will read.

At 8 p.m. on Friday, July 20, James Harms and Stephen Amidon will read. Harms is the award-winning author of seven full-length collections of poetry, including his most recent, “Comet Scar.” Amidon is the author of nine books of fiction and non-fiction. His latest is “The Sublime Engine: A Biography of the Human Heart,” which he co-authored with his brother Tom, a physician.

At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, Kevin Oderman, the author of the novel “Going” and the essay collection “How Things Fit Together,” and John Hoppenthaler, the author of two full-length poetry collections, will read.

Workshop participants, who come from as far away as California, will read their work on Saturday, July 21, at 8 p.m. at the Mediterranean Market and Deli on High Street. Friday afternoon’s reading will be in E. Moore Hall. All other readings will be held in Room 130 of Colson Hall with receptions and book signings to follow.

“I hope students, faculty and members of the community will turn out for what are bound to be engaging, entertaining readings,” said Brazaitis, a WVU professor and the workshop’s director. “This is nothing less than a literary festival.”

For more information, contact Mark Brazaitis at 304-293-9707 or or go to the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop Web site at


CONTACT: Mark Brazaitis, WVU Creative Writing Program

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