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January 2003

Release Date: January 28, 2003

Versatile Writer Nye to Deliver Keynote Address at Kelton Conference Feb. 20-22

Poet, essayist and children's author Naomi Shihab Nye will headline a roster of more than two dozen southwestern writers who will participate in the Seventh Annual Writers Conference in honor of Elmer Kelton Feb. 20-22 at Angelo State University.

Nye, a resident of San Antonio, is a winner of four Pushcart Prizes and nominee for the 2002 National Book Award for 19 Varieties of Gazelle, a book of poetry for young people. Her other works of poetry are Fuel, Hugging the Jukebox, Red Suitcase and Words Under Words. She is also author of the young reader's novel Habib, the picture book Lullaby Raft and Never in a Hurry, a collection of essays.

Nye is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, and to answer questions at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, 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 open free to the public.

Other featured writes joining Nye on the program will be Walt McDonald, the 2001 Poet Laureate of Texas; 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.

McDonald, the author of 18 collections of poetry and winner of four Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and six awards from the Texas Institute of Letters (TIL), will speak at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21. Watt, who received the TIL's Steven F. Turner Award for best first work of fiction in1994 for Can You Get There From Here?, will talk at 9 a.m., Feb. 21.

Fink, who has published four books of poetry, including The Tongues of Men and Angels most recently, and Davis, who won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for One Way to Reconstruct the Scene, will speak in the conference's opening program at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 20.

The writer's conference includes a presentation by San Angelo's own Kelton. Kelton is a seven-time Spur Award winner for his novels of the West. He will speak this year at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20.

In addition to the featured speakers, a variety of other authors will give readings throughout the conference. The readings and participating authors are:

Feb 20 at 11 a.m.: Albert Haley, Kristin LaTour, Dickie Heaberlin, Rebecca Balcarcel and Morgan O'Donnell.

Feb. 20 at 1:45 p.m.: Elaine Woodruff, Wayne Gilbert, Sherry Craven, Jimmy Phillips and Diane Warner.

Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m.: Andrew Geyer, Jerry Craven, Clarence Wolfshohl and Cynthia Green.

Feb. 21 at 11 a.m.: Larry Thomas, Robert Donahoo, Hugh Tribbey, David Breeden and Jennifer DiJulio.

Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.: Edith Burford, Jim Sanderson, Alex Hunt and Gregorio Pedroza.

A 9 a.m. Feb. 22 session on "Filled with the Gladness of Living': A Brief Introduction to Arab Culture" will be hosted by Dr. Chris Ellery, ASU associate professor of English, and Asmahan Sallah in honor of keynote speaker Nye and her Arabic heritage. The conference will conclude with the 11 a.m. interview with Nye.

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