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Saturday, September 23, 2006

WVW eNEWS - September 22, 2006

(The WVW eNEWS comes courtesy of President Emeritus Emeritus George Lies)

Morgantown Writers Group & WVU Press Host Valerie Nieman Workshop, Reading

October 7th Sat. Morning - Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop (Library)
October 6th Fri. Evening - Barnes and Noble Bookstore Reading

The Morgantown Writers Group (MWG) will sponsor a two-hour poetry workshop, Ekphrastic Poetry (the writing of poetry inspired by works of art), led by visiting poet Valerie Nieman. The workshop is scheduled Saturday October 7 at the Morgantown Public Library on Spruce Street from 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. A “dutch” treat lunch follows with the visiting writer.

In conjunction with the workshop, Nieman will read on Friday, at 6:00 p.m., October 6, at University Towne Center Barnes and Noble Bookstore. She will read from Fidelities, her collection of 18 short stories, as well as from her newest publication, Wake, Wake, Wake, a collection of poetry published by Press 53.

Advanced registration for the workshop is advised because it is limited to 14 writers. A nominal registration fee of $5 will cover the cost of materials. For details or to register, send email to or Those interested should bring a small work of art or an art book.

To join West Virginia Writers, Inc., go to and check details of the annual June 8-10, 2007 writers conference and the annual Spring writing competition, which opens January 2, 2007.

Nieman’s visit is co-sponsored by the Morgantown Writers Group and the WVU Press, which published Fidelities, a collection of her stories about the people, places, and subtleties of West Virginia. Most MWG writers have won awards in the WVW Spring Writing competition sponsored by West Virginia Writers, Inc.; several have published in journals and magazines, online media, and international publications. Founded in 1994, the writers meet twice a month for manuscript critiques and workshops, focusing on short stories, poetry, popular fiction, and memoirs. The group has published an anthology of 11 stories titled The Mist On The Mon.

Nieman was involved for many years in the Kestrel Festival sponsored by Fairmont State University. Her poetry collection, Wake Wake Wake, was published in September 2006 by Press 53. She has 2 poetry chapbooks, How We Live, State Street Press, 1997, and Slipping Out of Old Eve, Sing Heavenly Muse! 1988. Her work has appeared in journals such as Poetry, New Letters, REDiViDER, and West Branch, and in many anthologies.

For information about Nieman’s Fidelities and Vandalia books, or the Barnes and Noble Reading on Oct. 6, call 1-866-WVUPRESS or visit

Therese Boyd, a professor of creative writing at Penn State praises Fidelities’ “panoramic shot” of life in rural Appalachia. Ruth Moose, a creative writing professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, says “Nieman writes stories that show real people in real life.” She praises Nieman’s ability to write from multiple points of view, “Nieman is one of few writers who is equally at home and at ease in both male and female viewpoints.” Fidelities, published by the Vandalia Press, is Nieman’s first published collection of short stories. She has previously authored Survivors, a novel about the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

The Vandalia Press is the West Virginia University Press’ literary imprint, specializing in contemporary poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Since 2001, Vandalia Press has published literary titles each year by regional writers or by other authors whose work has a strong connection to Appalachia or West Virginia. Among Vandalia Press’ authors are Richard Currey, West Virginia Poet Laureate Irene McKinney, Lee Maynard and most recently, Priscilla Rodd (Surviving Mae West) and Kevin Oderman (Going).