The ninth annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, featuring Nathan Brown, Carolyne Wright, James Hoggard and Jonas Zdanys, in addition to more than 50 author presentations from Oklahoma and beyond, is April 3-5, 2014, on the campus of East Central University in Ada, Okla. All sessions are free and open to the public.
Nathan Brown is a songwriter, photographer and award-winning poet from Norman, Okla. He is also serving as the current Poet Laureate of the State of Oklahoma for 2013 to 2014.
He holds a PhD in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and teaches there as well. Brown spends time traveling and performing readings and concerts, as well as speaking and leading workshops in high schools, universities and community organizations on creativity, creative writing and the need for readers to not give up on poetry.
The author of eight books, Brown’s work includes Karma Crisis: New and Selected Poems (2012), Letters to the One-Armed Poet: A Memoir of Friendship, Loss, and Butternut Squash Ravioli (2011), My Sideways Heart (2010), Two Tables Over (2008) - Winner of the 2009 Oklahoma Book Award, Not Exactly Job (2007) - a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award, Ashes Over the Southwest (2005), Suffer the Little Voices (2005) - a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award, Hobson’s Choice (2002).
Brown has received two Pushcart Prize nominations, and his CD of all-original songs, Gypsy Moon was released in 2010. His work has appeared in numerous publications including World Literature Today, Concho River Review, Wichita Falls Literature and Art Review, “Walt’s Corner” of The Long-Islander newspaper (a column started by Whitman in 1838), Oklahoma Today Magazine and Oklahoma Humanities Magazine to name a few.
Carolyne Wright has published nine books and chapbooks of poetry. Her most recent book is Mania Klepto: the Book of Eulene (2011). Her previous collection, A Change of Maps (2006), was nominated for the LA Times Book Awards, and was a finalist for the Idaho Prize and Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Wright’s other recent collection, Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire (2005), won the Blue Lynx Prize, Oklahoma Book Award in Poetry and American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.
Other books include Premonitions of an Uneasy Guest; Stealing the Children; an invitational chapbook, Carolyne Wright: Greatest Hits 1975-2001; a collection of essays, A Choice of Fidelities: Lectures and Readings from a Writer’s Life; and a recent anthology, Majestic Nights: Love Poems of Bengali Women.
A graduate of Seattle University’s Humanities Honors Program with a doctorate in English and Creative Writing from Syracuse University, Wright has received awards from the Poetry Society of America, Seattle Arts Commission and the New York State Council on the Arts. She has been a Writing Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo.
Wright spent time in Chile on a Fulbright Study Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende and is working on an ongoing investigative memoir of her experiences. She also spent four years on Indo-U.S. Subcommission and Fulbright Senior Research fellowships in Calcutta and Dhaka, Bangladesh, collecting and translating the work of Bengali women poets and writers for an anthology in progress, A Bouquet of Roses on the Burning Ground.
Author of more than twenty books, James Hoggard has published novels, poetry, stories, personal essays and had seven plays produced, including two in New York. His work has been published in Harvard Review, Southwest Review, Partisan Review, Redbook, Arts & Letters, Translation Review, and numerous other places, including England, Cuba, Czech Republic, Canada, and India. His most recent book is The Devil’s Fingers & Other Personal Essays (2013), preceded by the novel The Mayor’s Daughter (2011), Triangles of Light: The Edward Hopper Poems (2009), and Ashes In Love (2009), translations of two books by the important Chilean poet Oscar Hahn.
His numerous awards include the PEN Southwest Poetry Prize for 2007, an NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing, and other awards for his fiction, poetry, literary translations, and journalism. He has served two terms as president of the Texas Institute of Letters, and was recently named a Fellow in the organization and voted into membership of the Philosophical Society of Texas. Former Director of the National Endowment for the Arts Literature program, Leonard Randolph wrote that Hoggard’s novel Trotter Ross “isfar and away the best coming of age novel in current American literature.” Reviewing Hoggard’s collection of stories and a novella, the noted novelist John Nichols wrote that “Hoggard knows as much as anyone on earth about the small tender mercies and brutalities of people … and herein also lies the best dialogue I have read in a long, long time.”He has taught at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls for many years and is the Perkins-Prothro Distinguished Professor of English.
Jonas Zdanys is a bilingual poet and translator and the author of 41 books, 38 of them being collections of poetry written in English and Lithuanian, most recently Cormorants and The Kingfisher’s Reign.
He has received a number of prizes and book awards for his poetry and for his translations of Lithuanian poetry into English. Zdanys was also the subject of an exhibit at the National Library of Lithuania.
Zdanys serves as a professor of English at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., where he teaches creative writing and poetry. He served as Chief Academic Officer and Associate Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Connecticut from 1998 to 2009.
Prior to this, Zdanys worked at Yale University for 18 years, where he held a faculty appointment in the Department of Comparative Literature, was a Scholar-in-Residence in the Council on Russian and East European Studies and served in a variety of administrative positions.
Zdanys has been a reader and panelist for the Creative Writing Fellowship Program of the National Endowment for the Arts, a consultant for Wesleyan University Press and Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, and editor of various other literary and scholarly journals.
In honors graduate of Yale University, Zdanys also earned a Ph.D. in English literature from the State University of New York.