Announcing Fall 2018 Visiting Writers Series Line-up

Monday, September 17

Common Reading Program Playwright

Moises Kaufman

(The Laramie Project)

2-3:15 pm

Parkway Ballroom

420 Plemmons Student Union

(Reading from and discussing The Laramie Project and recent dramatic work)



Thursday, September 27

Novelist, Poet, and Biographer

Robert Morgan

(Chasing the North Star; Dark Energy; Boone: A Biography; Gap Creek)

7:30 p.m.

Table Rock Room

201B Plemmons Student Union


Craft Talk: Title TBA

3:30-4:45 p.m.

Table Rock Room


Thursday, October 4

Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing

Travel and Ecology Writer

Peter Fish 

(San Francisco Chronicle, AFAR, Houzz, Sunset magazine)

7:30 p.m.

Table Rock Room

201B Plemmons Student Union


Drop-in Reception

6-7:15 p.m.

Price Lake Room

201A Plemmons Student Union


Craft Talk: Questions of Travel: Creating a Sense of Place in Non-Fiction and Fiction

2-3:15 p.m.

Table Rock Room


Thursday, November 8


Toi Derricotte

(The Undertaker’s Daughter; Tender; The Black Notebooks) 

7:30 p.m.

Table Rock Room

201B Plemmons Student Union


Craft Talk: Title TBA

3:30-4:45 p.m.

Table Rock Room


  Book sales and signing will follow each reading.


2018 Common Reading Program author Moises Kaufman is the founder and artistic director of Tectonic Theater Project, a Tony- and Emmy-nominated director and playwright, and a 2015 recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Mr. Kaufman’s Broadway directing credits include the revival of The Heiress with Jessica Chastain; 33 Variations (which he also wrote), starring Jane Fonda (five Tony nominations); Rajiv Joseph’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo with Robin Williams; and Doug Wright’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife with Jefferson Mays.

His play The Laramie Project, which he wrote with the Tectonic Theater Project company, is among the most performed plays in America. Other credits include Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (which he also wrote), The Tallest Tree in the Forest (Mark Taper, BAM), The Nightingale (La Jolla Playhouse), The Common Pursuit (Roundabout), Macbeth with Liev Schreiber (Public Theater), This Is How It Goes (Donmar Warehouse), One Arm by Tennessee Williams (New Group and Steppenwolf Theatre Company), the opera El Gato con Botas (Puss in Boots) at the New Victory Theater, and Master Class with Rita Moreno (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Kaufman also co-wrote and directed the HBO film adaptation of The Laramie Project, which received two Emmy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writer. He is an Obie winner and a Guggenheim Fellow in Playwriting.

The most frequently featured author in Appalachian State’s Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series, Robert Morgan is the author of fourteen books of poetry. He has also published nine volumes of fiction, including Gap Creek, a New York Times bestseller. A sequel to Gap Creek, The Road from Gap Creek, was published in 2013. A new novel, Chasing the North Star, was published in 2016, following a new book of poems, Dark Energy, in 2015. In addition he is the author of three nonfiction books, Good Measure: Essays, Interviews, and Notes on Poetry; Boone: A Biography; and Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion, 2011. He has been awarded the James G. Hanes Poetry Prize by the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2013 he received the History Award Medal from the DAR. Recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Arts Council, he has served as visiting writer at Davidson College, Furman, Duke, Appalachian State, and East Carolina universities. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, he was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2010. Born in Hendersonville, North Carolina, in 1944, he has taught since 1971 at Cornell University, where he is Kappa Alpha Professor of English.

Travel and ecology writer Peter Fish will be the 2018-2019 Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing. Currently a freelance writer and editor, Peter Fish for more than 30 years wrote and edited for Sunset Magazine, the 120-year-old magazine of the American West, where he focused on travel and environmental coverage. Most recently his writing has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle,, and AFAR magazine. His article on the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, “Howl,” won a 2013 Lowell Thomas Award gold medal for environmental journalism. He serves as the Jury Chair of the Commonwealth Club's California Book Awards. His own anthology of California literature, California’s Best: Two Centuries of Great Writing from the Golden State, was published by Farcountry Press in 2010. He received a B.A. in History from Yale University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Stanford University; in addition, he spent a year as a Hoyns Fellow in fiction at the University of Virginia’s MFA program. Raised in southern California, he lives in San Francisco with his wife and son. He previously read in the 2015-16 Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

Toi Derricotte, who retired as a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, is well known for her books of poetry and the power behind her writing. Her books of poetry are The Undertaker’s Daughter (2011), Tender (1997), which won the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize, Captivity (1989), Natural Birth (1983) and The Empress of the Death House (1978). Dericotte’s The Black Notebooks is a literary memoir that won the 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her honors include election to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets and the 2012 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, given to a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work to date represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature. Derricotte also received the 2012 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement; the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America; two Pushcart Prizes; the Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award from the United Black Artists; the New York Graduate School of Arts and Science Alumni Achievement Award; the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers Inc.; the Elizabeth Kray Award for service to the field of poetry from Poets House; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Maryland State Arts Council.
      In 1996, Dericotte and fellow poet Cornelius Eady co-founded the Cave Canem Foundation, North America’s premier “home for black poetry.”
      Derricotte’s previous appearances in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series were in 2012 and 2013, when she served as Appalachian State’s 2013-14 Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing.