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Acclaimed University of Texas writer to open reading series at Illinois

8/30/2011 | Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor | 217-333-0568; rhodes8@illinois.edu

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN,Ill. — An author described by The New York Times Book Review as “a writer for all readers” will open the annual Carr Reading Series. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith – who earned his doctorate at the U. of I. in 1969 and is the Ellen Clayton Garwood Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas in Austin – is best known for “Klail City Death Trip,” which tells the stories of the residents of a fictional Lower Rio Grande Valley county in a series that so far numbers 15 volumes.

Rolando Hinojosa-Smith
Rolando Hinojosa-Smith wll be the first writer in the Carr Reading Series, which begins Sept. 14. | Photo by Marsha Miller

Besides novels, Hinojosa-Smith also writes short stories, poetry and essays, in English and in Spanish. His work has been the subject of theses in six foreign countries, and his “Klail” series is the topic of a graduate-level course at Texas A&M University.

Hinojosa-Smith will read on Sept. 14 (Wednesday).

The Carr Reading Series will continue with Dean Rader, whose debut poetry collection, “Works & Days,” won the 2010 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize. He’s also the author of three scholarly books, most recently “Engaged Resistance: American Indian Art, Literature, and Film From Alcatraz to the NMAI,” published this year by the University of Texas Press. Rader is a professor at the University of San Francisco, where he recently received the school’s Distinguished Research Award. Rader will present a reading on Sept. 28 (Wednesday).

The series continues Oct. 17 (Monday) with humorist John Warner, editor-at-large for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and author or co-author of four books, including “My First Presidentiary: A Scrapbook by George W. Bush” and “Fondling Your Muse: Infallible Advice From a Published Author to the Writerly Aspirant.” His first novel, “The Funny Man,” is scheduled for publication Sept. 27 by Soho Press. Warner graduated from the U. of I. with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing in 1992.

Two authors will read on Oct. 19 (Wednesday): Andrew Ervin, whose literary criticism has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco and The New York Times, will read from his first novel, “Extraordinary Renditions,” published in 2010. Andy Frazee, who has won awards for his poetry and is a postdoctoral fellow teaching business communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology, also will read. Ervin and Franzee earned master’s of fine arts degrees at Illinois.

The Carr Reading Series is made possible by a gift from Robert J. and Katherin Carr. Hinojosa-Smith’s appearance is sponsored by the English department’s creative writing program and its literary journal, Ninth Letter, with support from the department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese and the department of Latina/Latino studies, both of which are in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Rader’s reading also is supported by the American Indian Studies department.

All readings are free and open to the public, and will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Authors Corner in the Illini Union Bookstore, 809 S. Wright St., Champaign.

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