Shepherd University’s 2014 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program “The Prodigious Tales of Homer Hickam: West Virginia’s Master Storyteller” opens this semester on Friday, Sept. 19.
Homer Hickam, a West Virginia native, is the author of several award-winning novels including “Rocket Boys,” which quickly became a New York Times best-selling memoir after its publication in April 1999 and later inspired a film adaptation titled “October Sky” starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Hickam.
Since Hickam is the 2014 recipient of the Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award, the Writer-in-Residence events will have themes pertaining to his work and life such as the coal towns of deeply southern West Virginia and astronomy. Some events are free for students and the public. The following events do not require tickets with the exception of the Appalachian Heritage Festival on Sept. 27.
Friday, Sept. 19 – Showing and discussion of the film “October Sky” in Reynolds Hall at 7 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 22 – “‘Whom God Hath Hedged In’: The Social World of the Company Town” with Dr. Matthew Foulds at 5 p.m. “Tales from the Coal Mines” with Fred Powers and reception to follow at 7 p.m. Both of these events take place in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies.
Tuesday, Sept. 23 – “From the Mountains to the Stars: Astronomy In and Above West Virginia” with Dr. Jason Best at 5 p.m. “A Celebration of Affrilachian Storytellers: The Anthology of Appalachian Writers and Photographers” with Frank X Walker, last year’s Writer-in-Residence, at 7 p.m. Both of the previously listed events will be held in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies. A reception for Frank X Walker’s anthology event will follow in the Scarborough Library Reading Room at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 24 – A Homer Hickam reading in the Martinsburg Public Library at 11 a.m. “The Writing Life” and reception to follow with Homer Hickam in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 25 – Writers Master Class in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies with Homer Hickam from 3 – 4:30 p.m. “The Prodigious Tales of Homer Hickam: West Virginia’s Master Storyteller” Scarborough Society lecture and awards ceremony followed by a reception and book signing in Erma Ora Byrd Hall at 8 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 26 – Reading of the Appalachian Heritage fiction contest winner in the Frank Center at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 27 – The 19th Annual Appalachian Heritage Festival and Concert in the Frank Center and throughout Shepherdstown all day. For tickets, visit the festival website at http://www.shepherd.edu/passweb/festival.htm.
For more information concerning the 2014 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt at 304-876-5207, 304-876-5220, or firstname.lastname@example.org or Rachael Meads at 304-876-5113 or email@example.com.