ASU showcases literary talents

<p>What do you get when you cross pig cookies, a grandmother&#39;s wisdom, robots, poets and a godfather? A spectacular line-up of ASU authors at the 2007 Arizona Book Festival.</p><separator></separator><p>ASU&#39;s Institute for Humanities Research in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is sponsoring presentations by an impressive array of university-affiliated literary talent at the Arizona Book Festival, which is presented annually by the Arizona Humanities Council.</p><separator></separator><p>ASU Regents&#39; Professor of English Alberto Ríos will be honored with the 2007 Literary Treasure Award, given by the Arizona Humanities Council to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the literary heritage of Arizona. Ríos is the author of nine books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories and a memoir. His latest collection of poems is “The Theater of Night.” Ríos, a recent finalist for the National Book Award, has taught at ASU for 25 years and recently gave the keynote address for the city of Chandler &#39;s Celebration of Unity luncheon.</p><separator></separator><p>Jewell Parker Rhodes, a professor of English and the Piper Endowed Chair of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, will read and sign her newest book, “Porch Stories: A Grandmother&#39;s Guide to Happiness.” “Porch Stories” is Rhodes&#39; tribute to her beloved grandmother, an account of the love she received and the lessons she learned.</p><separator></separator><p>Tom Wayman, Distinguished Visiting Canadian Fulbright Chair in Creative Writing at ASU&#39;s Virginia G. Piper Center, will take part in a celebration of poetry at the festival. He is an anthologist as well as a poet, and his academic home is the University of Calgary, Alberta, where he was coordinator of creative writing for the past three years.</p><separator></separator><p>A new book of Wayman&#39;s poems, “High Speed Through Shoaling Water,” and his first collection of short fiction, will be published this spring.</p><separator></separator><p>Joining in the poetry celebration with Wayman will be ASU English alumna Sarah Vap (who earned her master&#39;s degree of fine arts in creative writing in 2005). Vap recently published two award-winning books of poetry: “American Spikenard,” winner of the 2006 Iowa Poetry Prize, and “Dummy Fire,” winner of the Saturnalia Books 2006 Poetry Prize.</p><separator></separator><p>Other talented ASU poets to be featured include Josh Rathkamp (who earned his master&#39;s degree of fine arts in creative writing in 2004), Stephanie Lenox (an ASU student and staff member), Eduardo C. Corral (who earned a bachelor&#39;s degree in Chicano/a Studies in 1999) and Charles Jensen (who earned a master&#39;s degree of fine arts in creative writing in 2005). In addition, ASU master&#39;s degree of fine arts students in art and poetry will display their unique collaborative work inside the Carnegie Library as part of the “Visual Text Project.”</p><separator></separator><p>Another ASU-affiliated writer to be showcased will be Lee Gutkind, the “godfather” of creative nonfiction and distinguished writer in residence at ASU&#39;s Piper Center. Gutkind not only legitimized the genre of creative nonfiction, but made it one of the fastest-growing, too. For him, it&#39;s about writing the truth in a “scenic” and “compelling” way. Nonfiction, he believes, can be communicated in a dramatic fashion, in much the same way poets and novelists tell stories. Gutkind will read from his recent memoir, “Forever Fat: Essays by the Godfather,” and his just-released book, “Almost Human: Making Robots Think.”</p><separator></separator><p>The event is presented by the Arizona Humanities Council, in partnership with the Arizona State Library, and with major support from Target and SRP.</p><separator></separator><p>This annual literary extravaganza is the Valley&#39;s premiere book event, featuring dozens of authors from across the United States and Canada. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 14, at the historic Carnegie Center, located at 1101 W. Washington St. in Phoenix . Admission and parking are free.</p><separator></separator><p>More information about the festival can be found at the Web site <a href=""></a&gt;, or by calling (602) 257-0335, extension 28.</p>