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Writers and Critics series to raise awareness, donations for food bank

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Rick Christman, Carol Spaulding-Kruse and Melvin Wilk

MEDIA CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

Three professors from Iowa colleges will read from selections from their written works in “Drake Writers’ Harvest Festival: A Benefit for The Food Bank of Iowa” as part of the Drake Writers and Critics Series on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Cowles Library Reading Room, 2725 University Ave.

“We do hope that attendees will bring donations,” said Jennifer Perrine, event organizer and Drake assistant professor of English, “All proceeds will go to the Food Bank, which accepts donations in the form of cash or checks, and if there’s sufficient interest in the event, we’d like to make this an annual occurrence, inviting different writers each year and maintaining a focus on the problem of hunger in our community.”

The festival will feature Rick Christman, English instructor at Des Moines Area Community College, Carol Spaulding-Kruse, Drake associate professor of English, and Melvin Wilk, professor of English at Simpson College.

Christman is the author of “Falling in Love at the End of the World”, a collection of stories and prose poems. He directs the Des Moines Area Community College annual Celebration of the Literary Arts.

He received his doctorate in English from Drake University, Master of Arts in English from Minnesota State University and Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin.

Spaulding-Kruse’s fiction, poetry, and articles have appeared in Ploughshares, Mississippi Review and the Pushcart Annual XVI, among others. She received the Pushcart Prize for Fiction in 1994, and recently was nominated for the award a second time for her short story, “Do Us Part,” from which she will read at the event.

She received her doctorate from the University of Iowa and a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts from California State University.

Wilk recently completed the manuscript of a book of poems, “Distances”, and also has published three short stories. He has been writing and publishing ever since his first poem was published in 1970. Poems from “Distances” have appeared in The American Scholar and The New Yorker, among others.

He earned a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Boston University, a second Master of Arts in Contemporary Jewish Studies at Brandeis University and a doctorate in English at the University of Massachusetts.

The Writers and Critics Series is sponsored by the Drake English Department and made possible by a grant from the Drake Center for the Humanities. For more information, contact Jennifer Perrine at 515-271-4161 or jennifer.perrine@drake.edu.

The fall schedule for the remainder of the series appears below:

Nov. 12 — Student and Faculty Reading: One-Act Plays and Dramatic Monologues featuring Craig Owens, Drake assistant professor of English, Drake junior Brandon Courtney and Drake senior Rebekah Maxwell. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Cowles Library Reading Room.

Dec. 4 — Drake Writers’ Night students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to bring and read a poem, a piece of short fiction or drama, or a short essay. This night is dedicated to celebrating and fostering the community of writers at Drake. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Honors Lounge in Medbury Hall, 2730 Forest Ave.