Future fiction teacher reads his own
Jen Rainey | Collegio Reporter
Students, faculty and residents had an opportunity to meet with author, and future assistant professor, Lowell Mick White, before he joins the Pittsburg State faculty. White is the final author to present his work at the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series this year.
Chris Anderson, assistant professor in English, says the English faculty was familiar with White’s work because he had recently gone through the interview process at PSU.
“We knew his reading would be entertaining and that students would enjoy meeting him,” Anderson said. “We thought this would be a wonderful way to introduce him to the Pitt State community before he arrives on campus next fall.”
Celia Patterson, chair of the English department, was in charge of hiring White. She says White might have been chosen as one of the authors to present on campus. However, because he will be teaching on campus, this added to the event.
“We thought it’d be nice to give the university more exposure to White and his writing,” Patterson said.
White will teach courses in fiction writing. He read some of his works to audience members in the student center on Thursday, April 19. He began with a reading of his short story, “Guts,” which is based on his life in Austin, Texas. White is also the author of three novels: “Stop Your Crying: Stories,” “That Demon Life” and “Long Time Ago Good: Sunset Dreams from Austin and Beyond.” He has also written for literary journals and published a variety of fiction and non-fiction, and short stories. White says his goal is to tell stories about people in America and how American culture and society came to be the way they are today. White also told stories from his life experiences and how they influence his writing.
“Write the story you want to read, write the book you want to read,” White said.
White also had copies of his books for audience members to purchase following the reading and there was also a reception after the event. Anderson says the crowd responded well to White’s readings.
“Everyone seemed to enjoy Dr. White’s writing and the blend of humor and sadness his stories conveyed,” Anderson said. “Some students had never been to a literary event like this, and I was glad to see they had a good time and responded enthusiastically to the reading.”
The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series has presented four authors each year for more than 20 years. The English department typically presents one fiction writer and one poet each semester. They are currently working on finding authors for next year’s series.
“We feel like the writer’s series is a service we provide to students and the community,” Patterson said. “It provides them with an opportunity to listen to the works of various writers and provides culture to the university and community.”