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English department hosts Writer Series

The Contemporary Writers Series, hosted by VSU’s Department of English, is an annual event presenting award-winning and well-known authors around the country.

The Contemporary Writers Series will present Dr. Tony Barnstone today at the University Center Theater at 7:30 p.m.

“I have written four books of poetry—12 books altogether,” Dr. Barnstone said. “I am also the Creative Writing Professor and American Literature Professor at Whittier College in the small town of Whittier, California.”

Dr. Barnstone has won many awards, particularly the Grand Prize of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, the Pushcart Prize in Poetry and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Dr. Barnstone received his B.A. from the University of California and his M.A. and PhD from University of California.

Poetry runs in the family with two other family members who are also considered poets.

His father, Willis Barnstone, is a poet and Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University.

“My father was going to come with me, but had to stay back because my mom fell and hurt her back, so it will just be me,” Dr. Barnstone said.

Willis Barnstone is an author of 12 publications and has received several awards and recognitions for his work, such as the Guggenheim fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, Emily Dickinson Award of the Poetry Society of America, W.H. Auden Award of the New York State Council of the Arts, Midland Authors Award, Book of the Month for three selections and three Pulitzer nominations.

Last October, the Department of English presented Lise Haines, an author of three novels, two of which had the rights sold to movie production companies, with an award.

Haines has also written several short stories and essays which have appeared in different literary journals.

The following November, Marianne Boruch, an author of six collections of poetry, and four books, two on the topic of poetry, one of poetry and the other a memoir came to visit VSU with the Georgia Poetry Circuit.

Dr. Barnstone will be continuing his rounds of the Georgia Poetry Circuit without his father, but will still give poetry readings and show the crowd a bit of his experiments with cohesion and poetry.

“I really love to play with multimedia and poetry,” Dr. Barnstone said. “I’m working on a graphic novel book for poems, making graphic cards like tarot cards with poetry and even turning poems into a folk-rock music album. I like to show people that you can do more with your poetry.”

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