Clemson writers to read in benefit for Upstate food programs
CLEMSON — Award-winning poets Jillian Weise and Julia Koets will read at this year’s Writers’ Harvest, a Clemson University benefit for Paw Pantry and Loaves & Fishes.
The event takes place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Self Auditorium at the Visitor’s Center, 230 Kappa St. at Clemson University.
The reading will also feature fiction writer Dan Leach and winners of the annual Clemson University Writers’ Harvest Student Reader Awards.
For admission, a donation of canned goods or cash is requested. Checks also can be made out to Loaves & Fishes.
“This annual event gives the campus and the public a chance to hear some of Clemson University’s most talented poets and fiction writers — both faculty and students,” said Mike Pulley, event organizer and emcee. “In the process, the audience also gets to help feed those in need on campus and throughout Upstate South Carolina during the holidays.”
Writers’ Harvest readings are planned during the holiday season by writers and poets throughout the nation.
“It is an honor to join the national tradition of the Writers’ Harvest,” Weise said. “Poets, fiction writers and essayists across the country gather to read new work and give back to our local communities. I’m grateful to Mike Pulley for organizing this event and I invite everyone to join us.”
“I’m looking forward to reading at this year’s Writers’ Harvest in support of Loaves & Fishes and Paw Pantry, two local organizations that work to reduce hunger in our community,” Koets said.
About the beneficiaries: Loaves & Fishes is a nonprofit organization that fights hunger in the Upstate by rescuing food that would otherwise be wasted and delivering it to almost 100 partner organizations for distribution to those in need.
Paw Pantry, located next to Clemson’s Harcombe Dining Hall, reduces food insecurity among Clemson students and in the community.
About Writers’ Harvest: These events were launched by Share Our Strength, a national organization that works to make sure no child in America grows up hungry. Writers’ Harvest at Clemson is sponsored by the Pearce Center for Professional Communication and English Majors Organization.
About the writers: Jillian Weise is a poet, playwright, performance artist and disability rights activist. She is the author of two poetry collections and a novel. Her first book, “The Amputee’s Guide to Sex,” was reissued in a 10th anniversary edition in 2017. Her second poetry collection, “The Book of Goodbyes,” won the prestigious James Laughlin Award and named one of the year’s best books of 2013 by Publishers Weekly and National Public Radio. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, and her alter ego, Tipsy Tullivan, hosts the “Tips for Writers” show on YouTube. Weise is an associate professor in creative writing at Clemson.
Julia Koets’ collection “Hold Like Owls” won the 2011 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize judged by National Book Award-winner Nikky Finney. Her nonfiction manuscript, “The Rib Joint: A Memoir in Essays,” won the 2017 Red Hen Press Nonfiction Book Award and will be published in 2019. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in poetry at the University of South Carolina and her Ph.D. in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati. She currently teaches writing at Clemson University and serves as associate editor for Black Lawrence Press.
Dan Leach’s short fiction has appeared in New Madrid Review, Greensboro Review and storySouth. His debut collection, “Floods and Fires,” was released by University Press of North Georgia (2017). He lives in Taylors and is a Master of Fine Arts candidate at Warren Wilson College and a Master of Arts in English candidate at Clemson University.
Student reader awards: Also reading at the event will be three undergraduates who won the Writers’ Harvest Student Reader Awards: Hannah Jane Pearson (prose), Dorothy “Dottie” Davis (poetry) and Brett Cranny (poetry).