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Sandhills attendees to interact with successful authors

Augusta State University, now Georgia Regents University, has been hosting The Sandhills Writers Conference since 1975. Reconfigured and renamed The Sandhills Writers Series in 2011, this writer’s symposium continues to draw nationally and internationally recognized published authors to Augusta.
On Tuesday, October 22, award-winning author A. Manette Ansay and poet William Garrett Wright will showcase their craft at the Georgia Regents University Fall 2013 Sandhills Writers Series, in the Jaguar Student Activities Center’s Coffeehouse on the Summerville Campus.
“The series attracts both students and the public,” said Professor Tony Kellman, who has been directing Sandhills since 1989. “On average, it’s a 50/50 breakdown of students and community members.”
In addition to the audience being able to listen to readings by the authors, afterward there will be a question and answer session allowing interaction with the speakers.
“I think it’s really a good thing to have living authors, to give our students the opportunity to see living authors present their work,” Kellman said. “Because they can ask questions, and because it’s contemporary work, it’s more relevant to their lives, more relative to their own experiences — I think it’s a great opportunity.”
A. Manette Ansay is the author of eight published books. She is the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Grant, a Pushcart Prize, the Nelson Algren Award, and two Great Lakes Book Awards. Her first novel, “Vinegar Hill,” was an Oprah Book Club selection and her novel “Midnight Champagne” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
She began writing when she was in her 20s, Ansay said. Originally a piano performance major, Ansay decided to pursue writing after developing health issues and needing to find something a little less strenuous, the author said. She said is looking forward to participating at Sandhills, especially the Q&A session.
“I know I am going to read from ‘Good Things I Wish You,’ which is my most recent book,” Ansay said. “I may also read from ‘Walking On Earth,’ which is a manuscript I’m completing right now. I hope to leave time for questions if that is part of the format because that is always my favorite part of any event — when the audience talks.”
William Wright is the author of seven collections of poetry and three full-length books. His poetry collections include “Bledsoe,” “Night Field Anecdote” and “Dark Orchard,” which was the winner of the 2005 Breakthrough Poetry Prize. He is also series editor of “The Southern Poetry Anthology,” and won the 2012 Porter Fleming Prize in Literature. For Sandhills, he will be reading a variety of poems, mostly from “Night Field Anecdote,” Wright said. He began writing seriously at age 16 and began publishing at age 23, he said.
“From age 14 to 16, I wrote fiction,” Wright explained, “and then I switched to poetry, almost exclusively until 2010, when I began to write essays and a novel. I’m finishing up the third revision of the novel now. I translate German poetry, write reviews and interviews for Shenandoah and Oxford American, as well as write my own poetry now.”
The series will begin at 1 p.m. with Ansay and Wright reading from their most recent works, followed by an informal discussion, book-signing and reception. All events are free and open to the public.

Fall 2013 Sandhills Writers Series
GRU’s Jaguar Student Activities Center Coffeehouse
Tuesday, October 22
1 p.m.
Free
gru.edu

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