April 28th Writers at Studio Eleven to be Last Event

The next Writers at Studio Eleven event will be Monday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at the Studio Eleven Gallery in Lexington, and after three years of robust and enriching readings, it will be the last event. The final reading will feature writers Gordon Ball, Julie Phillips Brown and Deborah Miranda, all reading from their new work.

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In addition, an open mic will be held: any community member is welcome to sign up at the beginning to read a brief piece.

This event is free and open to the public, and books will be available for sale. Refreshments also will be served. Writers at Studio Eleven is co-sponsored by Washington and Lee's Glasgow Endowment and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

The Writers at Studio Eleven reading series has been coordinated by Mattie Quesenberry Smith of VMI and Lesley Wheeler of W&L.

"This area is full of great writers and, because of the colleges, stellar authors from other regions often pass through town," said Wheeler. "We wanted to foster more interaction between local students, teachers, audiences and writers interested in good poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and I think we've provided that kind of fellowship. I hope that the series will come back one day in another form."

Smith added, "I would like to enhance what Lesley said with a side note: our steady attendance at these events translated into 720 people served by Writers at Studio Eleven in a little over three years: 720 attendees gained firsthand experience listening to varied writers' voices—voices in a localized setting. You can't beat that in this mediated age."

Ball is the author of " '66 Frames: A Memoir," "Dark Music" and "East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg." He also edited three books with poet Allen Ginsberg and wrote over 20 articles and numerous works of short fiction and poetry. Ball's photographs ("Ginsberg & Beat Fellows") have been exhibited in a dozen venues and as many books and periodicals; his films have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute and numerous other institutions.

Brown is a poet, painter and graphic designer, as well as a critic specializing in contemporary poetry and poetics. Her essays and poems have appeared in "Columbia Poetry Review," "Contemporary Women's Writing" and "Denver Quarterly," to name a few. Brown is currently an assistant professor of English, Rhetoric and Humanistic Studies at VMI.

Miranda is the author of the mixed-genre "Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir" as well as two poetry collections, "Indian Cartography" and "The Zen of La Llorona." She is co-editor of "Sovereign Erotics: An Anthology of Two Spirit Literature." Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of the Greater Monterey Bay Area. In previous lives, she has worked as a house cleaner and Special Education teacher. She is currently professor of English at Washington and Lee University.

Smith coordinates Sub Terra, a Rockbridge area writers' workshop, and teaches at DSLCC and VMI. She has new poems forthcoming in "Dark Matter Journal," "Floyd County Moonshine," "Red Earth Review," and a spring anthology published by Tupelo Press.

Wheeler is the author of "The Receptionist and Other Tales," a Tiptree Award Honor Book, and Heterotopia," winner of the 2010 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and a finalist for a 2013 Library of Virginia Book Award. Her other books include the poetry collection "Heathen" and "Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920s to the Present." Wheeler is the Henry S. Fox Jr. Professor of English at W&L.

All of the college partners have contributed to the series in some way to ensure the enjoyment of the participants at each reading and to provide an atmosphere conducive to interactive learning and opportunities for growth as writers.

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