WFU’s fall Writers Reading Series highlights novelists

Reading from their latest works, novelists Julianna Baggott, Rita Ciresi and Paul Eggers will round out the fall schedule of the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series at Wake Forest University.

On Sept. 30, Julianna Baggott will read at 3:30 p.m. in Tribble Hall’s Ammons Lounge, Room A107. A reception and book signing will precede the reading at 3 p.m.

Baggott’s first novel, “Girl Talk,” was published by Simon and Schuster’s Pocket Books in 2001 and subsequently by six publishing houses overseas. “The Miss America Family,” her second novel, was published in 2002. Baggott’s third and latest novel, “The Madam,” is based on the life of her grandmother who was raised in a house of ill repute in the 1920s and 1930s. Published by Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, the book is due out this month.

Her first collection of poems, “This Country of Mothers,” was published in 2001.

Under the pseudonym N.E. Bode, she wrote her first young adult novel, “The Anybodies,” scheduled for publication in spring 2004.

Baggott received her master of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1991. The recipient of fellowships from the Delaware Division of Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale Foundation and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, she has placed poems and short stories in dozens of literary journals including Poetry, The Southern Review, Chelsea, Cream City Review, Quarterly West, as well as the acclaimed anthology Best American Poetry 2000.

October’s featured novelist, Rita Ciresi will read Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in DeTamble Auditorium in Tribble Hall. A reception and booksigning will follow the reading.

Ciresi is the author of three novels, “Remind Me Again Why I Married You,” “Pink Slip” and “Blue Italian” and two collections of short fiction, “Sometimes I Dream in Italian” and “Mother Rocket,” the latter of which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Ciresi also won the Pirate Alley Faulkner Prize. She teaches creative writing, contemporary literature and ethnic literature at the University of South Florida.

On Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., Paul Eggers will read in Tribble Hall’s DeTamble Auditorium. The reading will be followed by a reception and booksigning.

Eggers is the author of “Saviors,” a novel published by Harcourt in 1999, which was a Barnes & Noble Discovery selection and winner of the Maria Thomas Fiction Award. He also wrote the prize-winning short-fiction collection, “How the Water Feels,” published in 2002.

From 1976 to 1978, Eggers served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malaysia and an education advisor for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Malaysia and the Philippines—experiences that continue to influence his work.

The recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship for 2002-2003, Eggers has published stories in Granta, Prairie Schooner, The Quarterly, Northwest Review and other journals. He teaches at California State University in Chico.

All readings are free and open to the public. For more information, contact John McNally at or at 336-758-3366.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events, Speakers