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Zalaznick series Includes readings by Quan Barry, Marlon James

By: Lynn Lauper,  English Department
Mon, 08/21/2017

Poet and fiction writer Ron Rash kicks off the Fall 2017 Barbara David Zalaznick Reading Series on Thursday, Sept. 7, 4:30 p.m., at the Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium in Cornell’s Klarman Hall. All events in the Reading Series are free and open to the public.

Ron Rash has written six novels, including the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestseller "Serena," as well as "One Foot in Eden," "Saints in the River" and "The World Made Straight." Rash is also a renowned poet, with works such as "Eureka Mill" and "Among the Believers." Poetry Foundation praises his "themes of everyday Southern life and the losses experienced by its people [which] continue to resonate with readers and critics alike.

On Thursday, Sept.14, Saigon-born poet and novelist Quan Barry reads from her latest book of poetry, "Loose Strife," which works with "violence across history, from Greek myth to modern American serial killers and the Cambodian genocide" to achieve an original and prophetic text (Publishers Weekly). Barry's novel, "She Weeps Each Time You're Born," the story of a Vietnamese girl born able to speak to the dead, is well-regarded for its lyrical, mystical style. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and directs the MFA program for Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin.

Award-winning poet and translator Marilyn Hacker will read on Thursday, Sept. 28. The author of 13 books of poems, including "A Stranger's Mirror: New and Selected Poems 1995-2014" and "Names," she has translated 16 works from French, among them Emmanuel Moses' "Preludes and Fugues" and Marie Etienne's "King of a Hundred Horsemen," which earned the 2009 American PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Fellow poet Jan Heller Levi praises Hacker's ability to "journey us on a single page through feelings as confusing as moral certainty to feelings as potentially empowering as unrequited passion" ( This reading is in coordination with the Robert Chasen Memorial Reading.

Celebrated novelist Marlon James concludes the series on Thursday, Oct. 12. James' most recent novel, "A Brief History of Seven Killings," won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, making him the first Jamaican author to take home the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award. One judge remarked on the novel’s "many voices" that span "Jamaican slang to Biblical heights" (BBC). James is in the process of adapting the work into an HBO television series. He is also the author of the novels "John Crow's Devil" and "The Book of Night Women." He teaches English and creative writing at Macalester College.

Barbara David Zalaznick Reading Series events take place on Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium on the ground floor of Klarman Hall and are sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, Cornell University Department of English.

For more information, visit, email, or call 607.255.7847.

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