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Zone 3 Press award winner Kelly Beard; naturalist, writer Janisse Ray to read at APSU

February 12, 2019 | Email This Post Print This Post
 

Austin Peay State University (APSU)

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Kelly J. Beard, 2017 Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award winner, and Janisse Ray, writer, naturalist and activist, will read from their works at 8:00pm February 21st at Austin Peay State University.

The reading – part of the Zone 3 Reading Series – is free and open to the public in Room 120 of the APSU Art + Design Building.

Austin Peay State University Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award winner Kelly Beard to speak on campus February 21st.

Austin Peay State University Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award winner Kelly Beard to speak on campus February 21st.

Kelly Beard: “This Is My Story”

Kelly Beard

Kelly Beard

Beard won the Zone 3 Press award with her first full-length memoir An Imperfect Rapture, which explores growing up in the crucible of Christian fundamentalism and white American poverty.

She sums up her writing: “I believe the most subversive act a woman can commit is to tell her story. The world whispers (or shouts) all our lives: be nice, sit down, be quiet. To the world I shout: I will not, I will not, I will not. I am a woman. I am a writer. This is my story.”

Beard practiced employment discrimination law in the Atlanta area for two decades, during which time she founded the Professional Women’s Information Network and received multiple awards for her legal and community service.

In 2016, she earned her MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appears in Creative Nonfiction, Santa Ana River Review, Five Points, Bacopa Literary Review, and others.

Janisse Ray: “The Story Of Who I Am”

Ray has written six books, including her first book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, a memoir that rocketed her onto the literary scene. The book is about growing up on a junkyard in the ruined longleaf pine ecosystem of the Southeast.

From that book, she writes: “I carry the landscape inside me like an ache. The story of who I am cannot be severed from the story of the flatwoods.”

She holds an MFA from the University of Montana and has been awarded two honorary doctorates, one from Unity College in Maine and the other from LaGrange College in Georgia. In 2015 she was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.

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