Denison Beck Lecture Series Highlights Randall Kenan
Posted: January 25, 2002
GRANVILLE - Denison University's 2001/2002 Beck Lecture Series will feature fiction writer Randall Kenan for a reading at 8 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 30) in Herrick Hall Auditorium and a lecture at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 31) in the Slayter Hall Faculty Lounge. Kenan is the acclaimed author ofA Visitation of Spirits, Let the Dead Bury Their Deadand, most recently,Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. Both events are free and open to the public.
Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, a collection of stories, was nominated for theLos Angeles TimesBook Award for Fiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was amongThe New York TimesNotable Books of 1992. Additionally,Walking on Waterwas nominated for the Southern Book Award in 1999. In this book, Kenan tells the stories of African Americans all over the country in order to find "what it means to be black in America." Kenan is also the author of a young adult biography of James Baldwin and wrote the text for Norman Mauskoff's book of photographs,A Time Not Here: The Mississippi Delta(1997).
Born in New York but raised in Chinquapin, N.C., Kenan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985. He has worked on the editorial staff of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. publishers and in 1989 he began teaching writing at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. He was the first William Blackburn Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University in the fall of 1994 and the Edourd Morot-Sir Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at his alma mater in 1995. He has also taught urban literature at Vassar College.
Kenan is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, and was the 1997 Rome Prize winner from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has also served as the John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
Kenan resides in Memphis, Tenn., where he serves on the faculty of the University of Memphis. He is currently working on a novel,The Fire and the Baptism, set in North Carolina and New York City.
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