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Creative Writing Program Hosts Public Readings

The Red Earth MFA program at Oklahoma City University will hold free literary readings downtown next month. The first reading will feature faculty members and will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 3 at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library. A second reading will feature the program’s current visiting writers Lan Samantha Chang and Chad Sweeney at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Residence Inn in Bricktown.

Both readings are free to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the events.

The Red Earth MFA faculty members who will read Jan. 3 are novelist Allison Amend, author of “Stations West” and “A Nearly Perfect Copy”;  novelist Lou Berney, author of “Whiplash River”; young adult fiction and creative nonfiction writer Kerry Cohen, who wrote “Loose Girl” and  “Seeing Ezra”; poet Quraysh Ali Lansana of “They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems” and “ mystic turf”; novelist Kat Meads, author of “For You, Madam Lenin”; and poet Jeanetta Calhoun Mish of “Work Is Love Made Visible” and “Ain’t Nobody That Can Sing Like Me: New Oklahoma Writing.”

Visiting writers who will read Jan. 7 are novelist Chang and poet Sweeney. Chang is the author of several short stories and novels including “Inheritance: A Novel” and “All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost: A Novel.” She received the PEN Open Book Award, formerly known as the Beyond Margins Award, in 2005 for “Inheritance.” She is also a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow. Chang is currently an English professor at the University of Iowa and director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Sweeney is the author of four collections of poetry including “Parable of Hide and Seek” and “Wolf's Milk: Lost Poems of Juan Sweeney.” He is also a translator of “The Selected Poems of H.E. Sayeh: The Art of Stepping Through Time.” Sweeney is coeditor of the Parthenon West Review and teaches for the California State University MFA Program.

For more information about the Red Earth MFA program, visit the website at www.okcu.edu/english/redearthmfa.