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Author Thom Vernon to present local color creative writing workshop April 20 as part of Delta Symposium XVIII: Roots and Generations


In conjunction with Delta Symposium XVIII: Roots and Generations, ASU's English and Philosophy Department welcomes Thom Vernon, author of “The Drifts,” who will direct  a creative writing Workshop on Friday, April 20,  at 3:30, in the Pine Tree Room of the Carl R. Reng Student Union, 101 N. Caraway Road, Jonesboro. Like all symposium events, the writing workshop is free and open to the public. Participants must register in advance by contacting Dr. Janelle Collins or Dr. Gregory Hansen.

Thom Vernon has worked in film, television, and theater since 1989, including appearances on Seinfeld, General Hospital, and The Fugitive. He has been the Actors’ Gang Youth Education Program director, and has worked extensively with at-risk people, including serving as an arts educator at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. He hails from Michigan, but he and his partner live in exile in Toronto. He is traveling to the mid-south, where he has family roots, to participate in the Arkansas Literary Festival in Little Rock before heading to Jonesboro for Delta Symposium XVIII. 

“The Drifts” was published by Coach House Books in 2010 to critical review. The novel is told in four voices and is set in a small northeast Arkansas town. Vernon will sign copies of “The Drifts” on Friday, April 20, at 12:30 and direct a writing workshop at 3:30. 

Vernon’s local color writing workshop is a hands-on writing workshop in which participants will generate material rooted in primary and secondary sources and local stories. The focus is on generating ideas, uncovering research sources, and publishing. A special emphasis will be given to the rural writer.

These local stories might be town secrets or legends or stories centered around particular locales, such as a field, a graveyard, or a house. They could come from songs or sayings the old-timers recall or from yesterday's paper. For the writer, these stories are goldmines that mark the undiscovered country between outsider and newcomers, normal and eccentric, safe and dangerous. They remind every member of a community of what the rules are about gender, history, and memory. These stories are often in a writer's own backyard. The workshop is open to all writers of fiction or non-fiction, in any genre. Participants should bring their own writing equipment, as well as any primary sources they may wish to incorporate in their writing (photos, recordings, oral/written testimonies, letters, newspapers, etc.).

The 2012 Delta Symposium will take place on April 18-21. Most of the activities will be held in the Reng Student Center's Mockingbird Room in the Carl R. Reng Student Union. There is no registration fee, and the event is open to the public. Maps are available online.

For more information, contact Delta Symposium co-director Dr. Gregory Hansen, or see the general release online. Visit the Delta Symposium homepage online or find the symposium on Facebook.