The 10th Annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, featuring Darrell Bourque, Heid E. Erdrich, Steven Schroeder and Mary Kay Zuravleff, in addition to more than 50 author presentations from Oklahoma and beyond, is April 2-4, 2015, on the campus of East Central University in Ada, Okla.
All sessions are free and open to the public.
Here is a look at the four featured authors:
“Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie” by Louisiana’s Poet Laureate (2007-2011) Darrell Bourque is a reflection of contemporary life in Acadiana in Louisiana and is a story of the legends of the journey of the Acadians from the Canadian Maritimes and the various ways they made their way to Louisiana. The poems offer personal revelations in the wake of illness and death of loved ones. They open the minds and spirits of great artists from Van Gogh to Elemore Morgan Jr., and most importantly, these poems give real voice to historical figures.
Bourque grew up in Church Point, La. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Bourque completed his doctoral degree from Florida State University. He is professor emeritus in English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he served as the first Friends of the Humanities Honor Professor.
Heid E. Erdrich
Erdrich is an author of four poetry collections, with the most recent being “Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems.” She is the recipient of awards from The Loft Literary Center, the Archibald Bush Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board and First People’s Fund, to name a few. She is a 2013 Artist of the Year honoree from City Pages Minneapolis.
She completed her education from St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, Dartmouth College and John Hopkins Writing Seminars. She also designed her own doctoral program.
Erdrich grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and is a member of the Ojibwe Tribe. She routinely works with galleries to present exhibits focused on Native American artists and is the director of the Wiigwaas Press, an Ojibwe language publisher. Erdrich currently lives in Minnesota.
Schroeder is a poet and visual artist who has published 12 books of poems, short stories and art. He grew up in the Texas Panhandle, has taught at the University of Chicago Graham School and received his Ph.D. in Ethics and Society from the University of Chicago.
Schroeder states that emptiness plays an important role in his poetry and painting, by focusing on what is not there as much as what is.
Mary Kay Zuravleff
Mary Kay Zuravleff is a novelist and short story writer who grew up in Oklahoma City. She has published three novels including her latest work, Man Alive!, which was named a 2013 Washington Post Notable Book. Her two earlier novels, The Bowl is Already Broken and The Frequency of Souls, won the American Academy’s Rosenthal Award and the James Jones First Novel Award. Her first novel was also a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. She is a five-time winner of a D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship.
Zurayleff earned a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University. She has taught writing at American University, Johns Hopkins University and George Mason University. Zurayleff lives in Washington, D.C. and is the cofounder of D.C. Women Writers.
The Scissortail Creative Writing Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Each day is broken into several sessions. For a complete schedule of readers, visit www.ecuscissortail.blogspot.com
The Darryl Fisher High School Creative Writing Contest winners will also be awarded during the festival. The Scissortail Creative Writing Festival is sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council. For more information, contact Dr. Ken Hada at 580-559-5557 or visit www.ecuscissortail.blogspot.com.