The eighth annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, featuring Andrew Hudgins, Constance Squires, Anna Myers and Walter Bargen, in addition to more than 50 published authors from Oklahoma and beyond is April 4 - 6, 2013, on the campus of East Central University in Ada, Okla.
All sessions are free and open to the public.
Andrew Hudgins’ was born in Killeen, Texas and educated at Huntingdon College and the University of Alabama. He earned his MFA from the University of Iowa in 1983.
Hudgins’ poetry is known for its dark humor, formal control and adept handling of voice. His latest book, American Rendering: New and Selected Poems, was released in 2010. Other volumes of poetry include; Ecstatic in the Poison; Babylon in a Jar; The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood; The Never-Ending: New Narrative, which received the Poetry Prize and Saints and Strangers, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Hudgins is also the author of a book of essays, The Glass Anvil.
Hudgins’ awards and honors include the Witter Bynner Award for Poetry, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hudgins has taught at Baylor University and University of Cincinnati. He currently teaches at Ohio State University.
Constance Squires is a native Oklahoman who lives in Edmond and teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Central Oklahoma. She earned her Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in 2005, where she taught creative writing, literature and composition. She also served as editor of the international literary magazine the Cimarron Review from 2003 to 2005.
Her new novel, Along the Watchtower, offers a glimpse into the experiences of an American military family during the end of the Cold War. Squires’ fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Dublin Quarterly, Identity Theory, New Delta Review, The Gingko Tree Review, Bayou and The Arkansas Review to name a few.
Squires won the 2012 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction. She has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and twice nominated for Best New American Voices. In 2007, she was awarded the Matt Clark Prize for Fiction by the New Delta Review, the 2004 Bob Shacochis Award for the Short Story and The Briar Cliff Review 2004 Fiction Award.
Anna Myers is the author of numerous works of historical fiction for middle-grade readers, many of which are set in her native Oklahoma.
Myers’ first novel, Red Dirt Jessie, is set during the Great Depression and deals with a family trying to cope with the loss of a child, in addition to the difficulties of keeping the family farm operation.
Her second novel, Spotting the Leopard¸ picks ups with the same characters six years later. Jessie, the main character, is faced with finding the funds to go to college to become a veterinarian, all the while caring for an escaped leopard.
Myers’ other novels include Ethan Between Us, a teen romance set in Oklahoma in 1963; Tulsa Burning, takes place against the background of the Tulsa race riot of 1921; and Hoggee, which takes place in the 1830s along the Erie Canal.
Red Dirt Jessie won the 1993 Oklahoma Book Award. Myers also has won the Oklahoma Book Award in 1996, the Gamma State Author’s Award, Parent’s Choice Award, Children’s Book of the Year Award, Honor Book Award, Society of School Librarians Society of School Librarians International and the Children’s Book Council/National Council for Social Studies Award. In 2012, Myers was awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oklahoma Center for the Book.
Walter Bargen has published 14 books and two chapbooks of poems. His works of poetry and fiction have appeared in over one hundred magazines, including American Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, International Quarterly and the Notre Dame Review. Bargen’s most recent works include Theban Traffic, Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected Poems and Endearing Rains/Liebenswerte Ruinen.
Born at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Bargen lived at many different places growing up due to his father’s military career. He has lived outside Ashland, Missouri since he graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a BA in philosophy. He later earned a M.Ed. in English education from the same institution.
Bargen wrote his first poem when he was a senior in high school. He taught himself how to write by two simple processes, reading and writing. He reads not only to enjoy what others write but to learn how others write, and he firmly believes that writing teaches writing.
In January 2008, Bargen was appointed as the first Poet Laureate of Missouri. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship, winner of the Quarter After Eight Prose Prize, the Hanks Prize, the Chester H. Jones Foundation poetry prize and the William Rockhill Nelson Award.
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 visitwww.ecuscissortail.blogspot.com.