LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University is pleased to announce the resumption of its popular Pennsylvania Authors and Upwrite reading series. Through these two series, successful authors present readings of their works and interact with students and the community. All readings are free and the public is invited to attend.Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Authors Reading Series, developed in 2000 in conjunction with the course Our Own: Pennsylvania Authors and the anthology Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, enables nationally known authors from Pennsylvania to visit classes and to perform readings for the local and university communities. Marjorie Maddox Hafer, professor of English and director of creative writing, said, “Such a series greatly benefits our students and our community. Interacting one-on-one with successful authors from their own state encourages aspiring writers, avid readers, and student literary scholars a unique opportunity.” She added, “By supporting such a program, Lock Haven University promotes Pennsylvania pride, artistry, and scholarship, while reaching out to the community and surrounding areas.”
The UpWrite Reading Series, which emphasizes diversity from a number of different angles, was awarded a PASSHE Diversity and Social Equity grant for the fall 2007—spring 2009 semesters. The series committee hosted fourteen acclaimed novelists, playwrights, short story and script writers, memoirists, poets, and directors for a total of fifteen events. Authors gave evening readings and film screenings, and visited English, History, Spanish, Education, and Theatre classes. Each semester, writers also met with such student groups as the Black Student Union, the Asian-American Association, Hillel, Lyrically Speaking, and Fulbright Scholar candidates.
Because of the strong impact of the series on students, faculty, and the surrounding community, a second PASSHE Diversity and Social Equity grant conditionally was awarded for the fall 2009—spring 2011 semesters. Regrettably, due to major adjustments in the October 2009 adopted state budget, the Chancellor’s Office could not fund the UpWrite Part II proposal.
The Pennsylvania Authors' and UpWrite reading series are being funded this spring by the English department and the Dean's office (Arts and Sciences Progress fund). Professor Maddox is committed to the long-term success of the programs, and says, “We are investigating a number of funding options for next year.”
Over the past nine years, the Pennsylvania Authors’ Reading Series has hosted or co-hosted over thirty writers, including poets C.S. Giscombe, Julia Kasdorf, Jerry Wemple, Deirdre O’Connor, Philip Terman; dramatists and directors Laurie McCants and J. Rufus Caleb; acclaimed novelists David Bradley and Stewart O’Nan, Pultizer-Prize-winner W.D. Snodgrass, fourteen authors from the Common Wealth anthology, and environmental scholar and nature writer Todd Davis. Several of these authors also participated in the UpWrite reading series.