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February 2003

Release Date: February 13, 2003

Kelton Writers Conference to Bring Authors to ASU Feb. 20-22

A Palestinian-American writer and a former poet laureate of Texas will headline the Seventh Annual Writers Conference in honor of Elmer Kelton Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 20-22, on the campus of Angelo State University.

Poet, essayist and children's author Naomi Shihab Nye of San Antonio and 2001 Poet Laureate of Texas Walt McDonald of Lubbock will be among two dozen writers participating in the conference.

Nye is the winner of four Pushcart Prizes. She was nominated for the 2002 National Book Award for 19 Varieties of Gazelle, a poetry book for young people. Her other poetry collections are Fuel, Hugging the Jukebox, Red Suitcase and Words Under Words. Nye is also author of the juvenile novel Habib, the picture book Lullaby Raft and the essay collection Never in a Hurry.

Nye is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. Friday and to answer questions at 11 a.m. Saturday in the conference's concluding session. All conference presentations will be in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center in the Houston Harte University Center on campus and all are free to the public.

McDonald has published 18 poetry collections, won four Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and received six awards from the Texas Institute of Letters (TIL). He will speak at 10 a.m. Friday.

San Angelo's Kelton, a seven-time Spur Award winner for his novels of the West, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. Books from Kelton, Nye, McDonald and other featured writers will be available for purchase at the conference. Authors will be available to sign those books after their presentations.

The other featured writers will be novelist Donley Watt, author of The Journey of Hector Rabinal; poet Bob Fink, who is the W.D. Bond Professor of English and director of creative writing at Hardin-Simmons University; and poet William Virgil Davis, the Centennial Professor of English and writer-in-residence at Baylor University.

A complete schedule and list of the participating writers is accessible on the ASU Website at: Writers Conference

For additional information, please contact Dr. John Wegner, assistant professor of English, by phone at 942-2281, ext. 223, or by e-mail at