The Tom McGrath Writers Series convenes today at 4:30 p.m. in CMU101. Two New Rivers Press authors, professors Bradford Tice and David Haynes, will read from their newest publications, discuss how their books came to be, and field questions from the audience.

Dr. Tice teaches literature and writing at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He was New Rivers Press’ Many Voices Project prizewinner last year for his collection of poetry, Rare Earth. Rare Earth is his first book, but not his first publication or prizewinning work. Award-winning poet Jay Parini has this to say about Rare Earth:

“The title alone here says it all: Rare Earth. This is a volume of poems about memory and place, about self-awareness gathered slowly, painfully, though with exhilaration and gratitude. Yet there is no getting around the fact that these are hard memories and troubled dreams that look without flinching at sex and death, at the vagaries of spiritual growth, at the difficulties of regional mores that seek to dim the soul’s natural light. For all the fury and terror that occur in these poems, there is a great beauty as well . . . Bradford Tice is the real thing, a poet to his fingertips, incapable of writing a bad poem but, more importantly, able to bring forth poetry that is astringent, luminous, fresh, and deeply imagined.”

A Star in the Face of the Sky is David Haynes’ seventh novel, and his third novel to be published by New Rivers Press. A brand new release, Star has just garnered a terrific review in the Saint Paul (MN) Pioneer Press. A link to the review is at the end of this message. Haynes is Associate Professor and Director of Creative Writing at Southern Methodist University. His teaching interests include gender, class, race, and generational differences – all themes that he explores in great depth in A Star in the Face of the Sky.

Graphic design students Haley Frost and Rachel Brixius designed the book covers for Rare Earth and A Star in the Face of the Sky, which will be on sale at the event.

The Tom McGrath Writers Series event takes place this Wednesday, November 6, from 4:30-5:30 at the Comstock Memorial Union, room 101, on the MSUM campus. The program is free and open to the public.

David Haynes book review in the Pioneer Press.

“The Advocate” story.