The Chattanooga State Community College’s Humanities Department, with generous support from the Chattanooga State Foundation, celebrated the first installment of its annual Writers@Work series. Central to this new initiative is the selection by the Chattanooga State Humanities Department faculty of a creative text for inclusion in Composition II courses throughout the fall and spring semesters. The two-semester focus culminates in a weeklong visit to the campus by the text’s author for workshops, book signings, lectures, and classroom visits; many of these events are also open to interested members of the community.
The selected text for 2011-2012 was To Dance with the White Dog, a novel by Georgia-native Terry Kay. A longtime journalist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mr. Kay is the author of 12 published novels, one collection of essays, and one children’s book. He is also a 2006 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Mr. Kay’s campus visit offered a wide variety of events, including several lectures, a writing workshop entitled “The DNA of Writing,” and a screening of the film, To Dance with the White Dog, based on Mr. Kay’s novel starring Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. Over 750 students and community members participated in the week’s activities, and Mr. Kay was praised widely for his approachability, his accessibility, and his talent for “spinning a yarn.”
Plans are already underway for the 2012-2013 installment of Writers@Work. Next year’s selected text is New and Collected Poems, 1964-2007 by Chattanooga-born author Ishmael Reed. Mr. Reed is a novelist, playwright, poet, and essayist with over 27 published works to date. Born in Chattanooga, Mr. Reed moved with his family to Buffalo, N.Y., where he grew up and went to college. Mr. Reed taught at the University of California at Berkeley for over thirty years before his retirement in 2005; he also taught at Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. Mr. Reed has received awards from both the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He and his daughter, Tennessee Reed, also a published poet, will spend the week of April 8-12, 2013, on the Chattanooga State campus for the second installment of Writers@Work. The week’s events will again be open to the public.
For further information about Writers@Work or the Chattanooga State Humanities Department, please contact Department Chair Joel Henderson at email@example.com or 697-4403.