Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s “About Writing” Visiting Authors Series welcomes Jerry Dennis on March 27 and 28 at 10 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. at the Texas Township Campus in the Student Commons Forum, room 4240.
Dennis will present craft talks on both days in the morning. In the afternoon, he will read some of his own writing. He is the author of many literary and popular works that explore the intersections of nature and human culture. His essays and short fiction have been published in such publications as The New York Times, Smithsonian, Audubon, Orion, American Way, and Michigan Quarterly Review and have won numerous awards and are frequently anthologized.
His books, many of them illustrated by artist Glenn Wolff, are widely acclaimed and have been translated into German, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, and Czech. In 1999 the Michigan Library Association named Jerry the Michigan Author of the Year, the highest literary award in the state, and in 2003 the University of Louisville’s School of Arts and Sciences recognized his achievements in literature with its Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award. He is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and elsewhere, has been a commentator on national and regional public radio, and serves on the faculty of the University of Michigan’s Bear River Writers Conference, where he teaches creative non-fiction. He and his wife, Gail, live near the shore of Lake Michigan not far from Traverse City.
To prepare for his visit, nearly 600 of Kalamazoo Valley’s students are reading his new book, “The Windward Shore.” The collection of essays is about a winter spent on the shores of various Great Lakes. Kalamazoo Valley instructors Rob Haight, Keith Kroll, Julie Stotz-Ghosh, Sara Rivara, Kristin Dekam, Denise Miller, and Gloria Larrieu are teaching the book study.
“It's really a book about learning to slow down and pay attention, a vital lesson for our students today who are inundated with distractions,” Haight said. “I've read Jerry for a long time. He is one of the very best working writers in Michigan. He has years of valuable writing experience and his connection to the Michigan landscape and environment make him a valuable source of knowledge and wisdom.”
Kalamazoo Valley’s “About Writing” series is coordinated by English instructor Rob Haight and offers students the opportunity to talk with professional writers and listen to their work. All of the presentations offered by Dennis are open to the public. For more information, call Rob Haight at 269.488.4452.