posted January 16, 2012

VWS to Feature Two Hope Writers

Heather Sellers and David Cho

The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series of Hope College will feature David Cho and Heather Sellers on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

In addition, Cho and Sellers will participate in a question-and-answer session on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 3:30 p.m. in the Herrick Room on the second floor of the DeWitt Center.

The public is invited to both events. Admission is free.

David Cho was born and raised in the Chicago area, a child of Korean parents who immigrated to America in 1971. Whether writing of his parents, other relatives, his multi-ethnic friends, or other members of community or congregation, Cho seeks to honor and elucidate the past, even as it clashes with the present to form an American hybrid: the poet himself. Along the way, he revisits moments of childhood confusion and wonder, of assimilation and tradition, of memory and loss.

His publications include "Night Sessions," a book of poetry published last year and nominated for the 2011 National Book Awards and "Song of Our Songs," a chapbook of poems published in 2010. He has also had poems published or accepted for publication in journals including "Amerasia," "Many Mountains Moving," "Prairie Schooner," "Theology Today," and, forthcoming, "The American Scholar." A scholarly manuscript on 20th century Korean American novels will be published this year.

An assistant professor of English and a member of the faculty since 2008, Cho teaches in the college's American Ethnic studies program as well as in the department of English. He holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois, an MFA and MA from Purdue University, and an MAT and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Prior to joining the Hope faculty, he was a Future of American Studies "Seminarian" at Dartmouth University. He was also previously a member of the faculty at North Park University in Chicago, Ill.; Seattle Pacific University; the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.; and Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind.

Heather Sellers' award-winning memoir, "You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face Blindness, and Forgiveness," has been featured by "O, the Oprah Magazine," where it was a book of the month pick; "Good Morning America"; the "Rachael Ray Show"; NPR; "The New York Times"; Dick Gordon's "The Story"; "Good Housekeeping"; "Elle"; and many others.

Awarded an NEA Fellowship for fiction, she published a short story collection, "Georgia Under Water," which was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. She has also published a children's book, "Spike and Cubby's Ice Cream Island Adventure," three volumes of poetry, and three books on the craft of writing. Her poems, short fiction, memoir and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals, anthologies and magazines. Her textbook, "The Practice of Creative Writing," from Bedford/St. Martins, was published in a second edition this past fall. She's currently at work on a novel for young readers, essays, and a new memoir.

A professor of English at Hope and a member of the faculty since 1995, she teaches poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. In 2011, the graduating class presented her with the "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) Award.

Sellers was born and raised in Orlando, Fla., and her Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing is from Florida State University, from which she also holds a BA and MA. She has also taught at the University of Texas - San Antonio and St. Lawrence University.

Additional information about the Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series may be obtained online by going to www.hope.edu/vws.

A performance by a Hope jazz group will precede the reading beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The Herrick Room is on the second floor of the DeWitt Center, located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.