Washington and Lee University’s 4th annual Writer-in-Residence Reading, featuring R.T. Smith, Lesley Wheeler and Chris Gavaler, will be Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in the Leyburn Library. The reading is free and open to the public.
The title of the reading is “Genre Bending and Blending?” Refreshments, a book signing and a Q&A period will follow the reading.
Where are the boundaries between fiction and poetry, poetry and drama, fiction and autobiography? What happens when the mystery story becomes a romance, when the western morphs into a whodunit? Or the satire becomes a narrative poem?
Three members of the W&L English Department, Smith, Wheeler and Gavaler, will read samples of their genre-bending work and entertain questions about the reasons behind and results following the refusal to color within the lines.
Smith is writer-in-residence at Washington and Lee and editor of Shenandoah. His two most recent books are “Sherburne,” a series of mystery stories full of western conventions and “The Red Wolf: A Dream of Flannery O’Connor,” a series of poems about a fiction writer.
Gavaler’s most recent book, “School for Tricksters,” is a historical novel in stories, and his first, “Pretend I’m Not Here,” is a mass-market romantic suspense. His short fiction has appeared in “Best American Fantasy” and numerous literary journals. He blogs about pop culture at www.thepatronsaintofsuperheroes.wordpress.com.
Wheeler’s latest book, “The Receptionist and Other Tales,” blends poetry with several fiction genres including the campus novel, fantasy, horror, fairy tales and zombie apocalypse. Her current project, “Poetry’s Possible Worlds,” combines personal narrative with criticism. She’s the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee.
The reading is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College and the Glasgow Endowment. The Glasgow Endowment was established by the late Arthur G. Glasgow for the “promotion of the expression of art through pen and tongue.” In the past four decades the endowment has hosted authors including W.S. Merwin and Mary Oliver.