Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series: Toi Derricotte Author Talk

The Fall 2013 Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation, Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, the Summer Reading Program, the University Bookstore, Belk Library, and the Appalachian Journal. Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Restaurant. Community sponsors include John and the late Marjorie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin, and The High Country Writers.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank (class of 1968), 2013 Appalachian Alumni Association Outstanding Service award recipient, past trustee, and generous supporter of Appalachian State University.


 Admission to all events is free.

For further information on the Fall season, please call 262-2871 or see To receive Appalachian’s “This Week in the Arts” announcements by email, please contact

To read on-line excerpts from the Fall Visiting Writers' works, please go to, click Reserves, then enter Visiting Writers Series as Instructor or Course Name. If needed, use the password asuwriters.

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The Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series


Rachel Rivers-Coffey

Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing



Thursday, October 3

NOTE LOCATION: Table Rock Room

Plemmons Student Union

Author Talk: Social Butterfly or Recluse: Some Thoughts about Writing In and Out of Community

Table Rock Room

12:30-1:45 p.m.

Book sales and signing will follow the talk and reading.


Parking is free on campus after 5 p.m. We recommend the Library Parking Deck on College Street (from King Street, turn down College Street at the First Baptist Church). To reach the Student Union, cross College Street and follow the walkway between the chiller plant and the University Bookstore, passing the Post Office and entering the Student Union on the second floor. For further parking information or a map, please see or call the Parking and Traffic Office (828) 262-2878.


Toi Derricotte was born in Hamtramck, Michigan, in 1941. Her books of poetry are The Undertaker’s Daughter (2011); Tender (1997), winner of the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize; Captivity (1989); Natural Birth (1983); and The Empress of the Death House (1978). Her The Black Notebooks, a literary memoir (W.W. Norton, 1997), won the 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her essay "Beginning Dialogues" is included in The Best American Essays 2006, edited by Lauren Slater. Of her poems, Audre Lourde wrote, "Because the power of her images breeds visions which are neither easy nor inescapable, Toi Derricotte moves us…The pain does not exceed the power."

Her honors include election to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets; the 2012 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry; the 2012 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement; the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America; two Pushcart Prizes; the Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award from the United Black Artists; the New York Graduate School of Arts & Science Alumni Achievement Award; the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, Inc.; the Elizabeth Kray Award for service to the field of poetry from Poets House; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Maryland State Arts Council. With Cornelius Eady, in 1996, she co-founded Cave Canem Foundation, North America’s premier "home for black poetry."

Honoring the late newspaperwoman and writer Rachel Rivers-Coffey, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professorship in Creative Writing annually sponsors the residency of a writer of national prominence at Appalachian State University. This position rotates among various distinguished authors of all creative genres; distinguished professors teach a creative writing seminar, conduct community outreach and other off-campus activities, and are featured annually in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

Dates and Times

Date and Time Admission Location Map Link
Thu, 10/03/2013 - 12:30pm - 1:45pm Admission is free. Table Rock Room, Plemmons Student Center n/a

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