American Book Review announces visiting authors for fall

The American Book Review, based at the University of Houston-Victoria, has announced its Fall Reading Series lineup featuring four nationally recognized writers, including a literary critic, a journalist, a poet and a short-story author.

"Our goal, of course, is to attract speakers of the highest caliber, but competition for these limelight writers is fierce," ABR Managing Editor Charles Alcorn said. "Fortunately, this is our third season, and we've received glowing word-of-mouth from our 14 previous speakers. Apparently, the buzz around the literary circuit is that Victoria is this very genteel, fun, kind-of-funky place to read."

Kim Herzinger
Kim Herzinger, a Pushcart-prize winning critic and literary executor of the late Donald Barthelme, will kick off the reading series Aug. 28. Herzinger, professor emeritus of the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers, will talk about Barthelme's influence on postmodern American letters. He also will speak about Texas native Barthelme's decision to return and start the University of Houston Creative Writing Program after 20 years at The New Yorker. Herzinger is the owner of a Manhattan bookstore specializing in autographed first editions.

Herzinger's talk, "Donald Barthelme: Finding a Place Where Everything is Different," will begin at noon in the Alcorn Auditorium of UHV's University West Building, 3007 N. Ben Wilson. The free event is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

Other writers scheduled during the UHV/ABR Fall Reading Series are:

  • Ruben Martinez
    Ruben Martinez, Sept. 11 Martinez, an Emmy award-winning journalist, is the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is an associate editor for Pacific News Service and a former news editor at LA Weekly. His book, "Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail," was published in 2001 and follows a Mexican migrant clan into and across the United States. His essays, opinion pieces and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other national newspapers. As a political commentator, he has appeared on "Nightline," "Frontline," "All Things Considered" and other news programs.

  • Mark Doty
    Mark Doty, Oct. 21 Doty is the author of eight books of poetry and four volumes of nonfiction prose, including "Dog Years," a New York Times 2007 bestseller. He is the only U.S. poet to have received the T.S. Eliot Prize in the U.K. Doty has been given fellowships from the Guggenheim and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has won the National Book Critics Circle Award, a Whiting Writers Award, two Lambda Literary Awards and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction.

  • Antonya Nelson
    Antonya Nelson, Nov. 20 - Nelson has published five short-story collections and three novels. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Harpers and in anthologies such as "Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards" and "Best American Short Stories." Nelson was the recipient of the 2003 Rea Award for the Short Story (Lifetime Achievement) as well as National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellowships. Her books were named New York Times Notable Books for five years, and in 1999, The New Yorker called her one of the "20 young fiction writers for the new millennium."

"We have quite a lineup of authors coming to Victoria within the next four months," said Jeffrey Di Leo, ABR editor/publisher and dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. "UHV faculty, staff and students, and area residents will have access to some of the nationally recognized writers, poets, historians and cultural critics who are reviewed in the pages of the American Book Review."

"It's a tribute to the community, and their enthusiastic response to the reading series, that we can attract people with this depth and range of knowledge. Victoria is on the literary map because of such steadfast community support."

While in Victoria, the reading series authors will attend roundtable discussions with UHV faculty and students, make classroom visits to area schools, give lectures open to the community, and go to receptions hosted by Friends of ABR patrons. Past speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Oshinsky, author and Iranian refugee Farnoosh Moshiri and American Book Award recipient Graciela Limon.

"I am honored to have the reading series and the American Book Review based at UHV," President Tim Hudson said. "Critical literacy is such an important issue, and I want to encourage everyone to take advantage of listening to and meeting these talented writers who will no doubt inspire us to read more, to read a variety of genres and to read with more discernment."

ABR is a nonprofit, internationally distributed literary journal that is published six times a year. It began in 1977, moved to UHV in 2006 and now has a circulation of about 8,000. The journal specializes in reviews of works published by small presses.

For more information about the UHV/ABR Reading Series, call Alcorn at 361-570-4100.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler