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GVSU Writers Series: First Books Festival

  • GVSU Writers Series presents novelist V. V. Ganeshananthan, short story writer Amina Gautier and poet Glenn Shaheen

Posted on April 02, 2013

Three writers from diverse backgrounds, who work in a variety of genres, will be featured at the Grand Valley State University Writers Series: First Books Festival, on the Allendale Campus.

Poet Glenn Shaheen, novelist V.V. Ganeshananthan, and short story writer Amina Gautier will give presentations throughout the day, Thursday, April 11. All events are open to the public with free admission.

A panel discussion about publishing is planned from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Kirkhof Center, room 2215/2216. All three writers will give a reading, beginning at 7:30 p.m., in Kirkhof Center, room 2215/2216. Throughout the afternoon, each writer will participate in individual Q & As from 4-5:15 p.m. These are primarily class visits, but open to the public:
Glenn Shaheen visits Writing 320, Lake Superior Hall, room 136
Amina Gautier visits Writing 430, Au Sable Hall, room 1136
V. V. Ganeshananthan visits Writing 430, Niemeyer Honors Hall, room 220

Shaheen received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in Michigan, where he edits the journal NANO Fiction and is the poetry editor for Third Coast. His book of poems, Predatory, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and is available from the University of Pittsburgh Press. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, The New Republic, Subtropics, and elsewhere. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Radius of Arab-American Writers, Inc.

Gautier is the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her short story collection At-Risk. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and currently living in Chicago, Gautier is an assistant professor of English at DePaul University, teaching courses in creative writing and African American literature. More than 70 of her short stories have been published, and her fiction appears in the anthologies Best African American Fiction and New Stories from the South, and in numerous literary journals including Antioch Review, North American Review and Iowa Review. Gautier is the recipient of the William Richey Prize, the Jack Dyer Prize, and the Danahy Fiction Prize, among others. She has received fellowships and scholarships from Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and others.

Ganeshananthan, a fiction writer and journalist, is a graduate of Harvard College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. A former vice president of the South Asian Journalists Association, she currently serves on the board of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and on the graduate board of The Harvard Crimson. She teaches at the University of Michigan, where she is the Zell Visiting Professor of Creative Writing. Random House published her first novel, Love Marriage, in April 2008. The book was longlisted for the Orange Prize and named one of Washington Post Book World’s Best of 2008, as well as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and Columbia Journalism Review, among others.

For more information about the GVSU Writers Series contact Caitlin Horrocks, assistant professor in the Writing Department at (616) 331-8022, or

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