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February 2002

Release Date: February 4, 2002

Harrigan to Headline Authors at Kelton Conference Feb. 21-23

Stephen Harrigan, author of the critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Gates of the Alamo, will be the keynote speaker at the Sixth Annual Writers Conference in honor of Elmer Kelton Feb. 21-23 at Angelo State University.

In addition to honoring Kelton, the conference seeks to celebrate literature by inviting authors of quality short fiction, poetry and essays from throughout the nation to participate in three days of programs where they share their work and their methods with students and other writers.

Joining Harrigan on the program as featured authors will be Ewing Campbell, Carol Coffee Reposa, Larry Thomas and James Hanna. Each conference begins with a presentation by San Angelo's own Kelton. Kelton is a six-time Spur Award winner for his novels of the west. He will speak this year at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. Kelton's and all other presentations will be in Room 100 of the Math-Computer Science Building at 2200 Dena Drive on the ASU campus. All sessions are open free to the public.

Harrigan will read from his work and entertain questions from the audience at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22. Harrigan's Gates of the Alamo received a Spur Award last year as best novel of the west by Western Writers of America. He is a longtime writer for Texas Monthly and many other magazines as well as the author of two other novels, Aransas and Jacob's Well. His other books include Water and Light: Diver's Journey to a Coral Reef and the essay collections A Natural State and Comanche Midnight. In addition to his novels and essay writing, Harrigan is a screenwriter, who recently completed work on location on a CBS film about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Born in Oklahoma, Harrigan lived in Abilene and Corpus Christi as a child. At the heart of much of Harrigan's writing is a love of the environment and a sense of place. Aransas is a novel about training dolphins, and his essay collections highlight the natural world and the reaction of its inhabitants. Like the best nature writers in America, Harrigan has the ability to draw his audience into the region.

Additionally, Harrigan has produced several pieces on Texas history, from the Battlefield of San Jacinto to the resurvey of the Camino Real. He has written several excellent essays of natural history, from a large, sad piece about the pollution of Galveston Bay to an essay about exploring Big Bend Park with a zoologist.

Among the other featured speakers, Ewing Campbell is the author of numerous books, including most recently Madonna, Maleva: a novel, and Raymond Carver: A Study of the Short Fiction. His fiction has appeared in London Magazine, New England Review and Kenyon Review, as well as literary journals in Germany, France, England, Canada, Russia and Croatia. Campbell's story "Adult Entertainment" received the 1998 Chris O'Malley Fiction Prize from the University of Wisconsin and the Madison Review.

Carol Coffee Reposa's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Formalist, Blue Mesa Review, San Jose Studies, Descant, Amarillo Bay, Context South, The Texas Observer, Concho River Review, Southwestern American Literature, Borderlands, RiverSedge and other journals. She has two books of poetry, At the Border: Winter Lights and The Green Room, with a third manuscript, Facts of Life, scheduled for publication in April. She was a finalist in The Malahat Review Long Poem Contest in 1988, winner of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Poetry Contest in 1991, and second-prize winner of the Blue Unicorn Poetry Contest in 1992.

Larry Thomas was selected as a finalist in the 1993 and 1997 Southern and Southwestern Poets Breakthrough Series competitions sponsored by Texas Review Press, and the Summer 2000 Pecan Grove Press national competition. In March 2001, his book-length collection of poems titled Amazing Grace was awarded the 2001 Texas Review Poetry Prize and was published by Texas Review Press last fall. His first collection of poems, The Lighthouse Keeper, issued by Timberline Press last year was selected as a pick by the Small Press Review and featured in the May/June 2001 issue. Another collection of poems, The Woodlanders, is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press.

James Hannah's books include two collections of short stories: Desperate Measures by SMU Press in 1988 and Sign Languages by University of Missouri Press in 1993. His Tobias Wolff: A Study of the Short Fiction from Macmillan/Twayne in 1996 was the first critical book-length work on this contemporary American author. Hannah's most recent work is The Great War Reader from Texas A&M Press in 2000. The Great War Reader is a unique anthology which crosses genders, disciplines, nationalities and genres and includes fiction, poetry, memoirs, letters, diaries and histories of World War I. He is currently working on his third collection of short fiction, You Are Here. "The Bois de K-Mart," a story from this collection, will appear soon in The Cimarron Review.

Past conferences have featured such renowned authors as Rudolfo Anaya, W.P. Kinsella, Denise Chavez, and Reginald McKnight.

For more information, please contact Dr. John Wegner, Assistant Professor of English, at 942-2281, ext. 223.