Charles Frazier and Joy Harjo Headline UNC Asheville’s Visiting Writer Events in April


Celebrities of the literary world Charles Frazier and Joy Harjo will be two of the many visiting writers who will make public appearances on the UNC Asheville campus in April, reading from and discussing their work. All of these events are free and open to everyone with no tickets required.

Kerri FrenchStephanie RogersApril 2 – Poets Kerri French and Stephanie Rogers – Kerri French is the author of Every Room in the Body, which narrates the drama of a high-risk pregnancy through poems. The book won the 2016 Moon City Poetry Award. She also is the author of a chapbook of poems about Amy Winehouse. Stephanie Rogers is the author of Plucking the Stinger and has appeared in the Best New Poets anthology three times. Both French and Rogers are graduates of the MFA program at UNC Greensboro. This event, hosted by Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society, is presented as part of the Department of English Visiting Writer Series at 7 p.m. in Karpen Hall, Laurel Forum.

Donald MorrillLisa BirnbaumApril 3 – Donald Morrill and Lisa Birnbaum – Morrill and Birnbaum, husband and wife, will read from and discuss their wide range of works. Birnbaum is the author of Worthy, a philosophical novel of love among con artists, and she is associate professor of English at the University of Tampa, where she is fiction editor for Tampa Review and the University of Tampa Press. Morrill, also on the creative writing faculty at the University of Tampa, is the author of four nonfiction books, three volumes of poetry, and a new debut novel, Beaut, which received the Lee Smith Novel Prize from Carolina Wren Press. This event is presented as part of the Department of English Visiting Writer Series at 7 p.m. in Karpen Hall, Laurel Forum.

Joy HarjoApril 12 – Joy Harjo – Harjo is a recording artist, the author of ten books of poetry, a memoir, Crazy Brave, and the coming-of-age book, For a Girl Becoming. Her many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is a native of Oklahoma and member of the Mvskoke Nation, and has also won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. Her most recent book of poems, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, takes readers from early history and the Trail of Tears through the everyday joys and struggles of modern life. This event is presented as part of the Department of English Visiting Writer Series and the university’s American Indian and Indigenous Studies Series, with support from Biltmore Farms Hotels, Blue Ridge Public Radio, and Our State magazine, at 7 p.m. in Lipinsky Auditorium. UNC Asheville also is pleased to partner with Asheville Wordfest at Lenoir-Rhyne University in bringing Harjo to Asheville, and thanks to that partnership, Harjo will have a second Asheville appearance, at Wordfest on Saturday evening, April 15 in the Lenoir-Rhyne Asheville Listening Room.

Robert Gipe. photo by Meaghan EvansApril 18 – Robert Gipe – For almost two decades, Gipe has led an oral history-based theater project called Higher Ground, working with hundreds of people in Harlan, Kentucky to document community issues. He has written and produced seven original musical dramas as part of this project, which was included in the Smithsonian Institution’s 2016 exhibition, By the People. Gipe also is the author of two illustrated novels that tell the story of an Eastern Kentucky teen growing up amid the environmental destruction caused by mountaintop removal. He is the director of the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. This event is presented by UNC Asheville’s NEH Endowed Professorship at 6 p.m. in Karpen Hall Room 038.

Charles Frazier. photo by Mark HumphreyApril 21 – Charles Frazier – Frazier, author of the novel Cold Mountain, which was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie, will introduce his new novel Varina, based on the life of the wife of Jefferson Davis. UNC Asheville Writer in Residence Wiley Cash and other literary friends will help Frazier launch his book in this special event with more details forthcoming. This event is presented in partnership with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café at 7 p.m. in Lipinsky Auditorium.

For more information, contact the Wren Williams in the English Department office, at or 828.6411.