Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


April 4, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University's Literary Festival will feature novelist Elizabeth McCracken at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Bob Smith Auditorium of the Meadows Museum. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception and book signing in the Hope Lobby of the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd.

McCracken, author of The Giant's House and Niagara Falls All Over Again, was voted by Granta magazine as one of the 20 best young American novelists.

Born and reared mostly in the Boston area, McCracken attended Boston University, the University of Iowa and Drexel University. She had fellowships from the University of Iowa, the Michener Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Somerville Arts Council and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where she was twice a fellow.

Her collection of short stories, "Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry," was an ALA Notable Book of 1994. Working off and on in libraries from the age of 15, McCracken was the circulation desk chief at the Somerville Public Library in Massachusetts until fall 1995. The next year her first novel, The Giant's House, was published and nominated for a National Book Award and won the Vursel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She also was the 1996 winner of the Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers Award."

The SMU Litfest also is co-sponsoring a Brown Bag panel with the Writer's Garret on "Poetry from Every Angle," from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, April 12, in Room 110 of the Dedman Life Science Building, 6510 Airline Rd. The Writer's Garret is a nonprofit literary center that puts writers and audiences in touch. The public is invited to bring a brown bag lunch and listen to the panel discussion moderated by SMU creative writing instructor Jack Myers and featuring poets Bernestine Singley, Robert McDowell and Willard Spiegelman.

A Harvard Law School graduate, Singley was named the 1997-98 Dewitt Wallace/Reader's Digest Fellow during a residency at the MacDowell Colony. Her work appears in a number of anthologies including Children of the Dream. She is a lawyer and corporate executive.

McDowell's latest book of poems is titled On Foot, In Flames. His previous collections include Quiet Money and The Diviners, a book-length poem. McDowell is founding publisher and editor of Story Line Press, and he is the editor of Poetry After Modernism. He co-authored Sound and Form In Modern Poetry and The Reaper Essays, and co-translated Ota Pavel's How I Came to Know Fish. His poems, stories, essays and reviews appear frequently in The Hudson Review, Poetry, The New Criterion and London Magazine.

Spiegelman is SMU's Hughes Professor of English and editor-in-chief of the Southwest Review. He teaches 19th- and 20th- century poetry and the classics. Books he has written include Wordsworth's Heroes, The Didactic Muse: Scenes of Instruction in Contemporary American Poetry and Majestic Indolence: English Romantic Poetry and the Work of Art. He also is a contributor to the Leisure and Arts pages of the Wall Street Journal.