posted April 2, 2012

VWS to Feature Susanna Childress and Bich Minh Nguyen

The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series of Hope College will feature Susanna Childress and Bich Minh Nguyen on Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.

In addition, both authors will participate in a question-and-answer session earlier in the day, 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.

Susanna Childress was born in California, spent her first decade in the Philippines where her parents taught at a seminary, and landed in southern Indiana for the remainder of her adolescence. She was a double major in English literature and writing at Indiana Wesleyan University, and holds a master’s from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. from Florida State University. Her first book, ”Jagged with Love,” was selected by Billy Collins for the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and by the University of Southern Illinois-Carbondale for the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award. Her second book, “Entering the House of Awe,” was recently released by New Issues Press. She has taught writing and literature at Valparaiso University and Hope, and has received an AWP Intro Journals Award, the National Career Award in Poetry from the National Society of Arts and Letters, and a Lilly post-doctoral fellowship. She lives in Holland.

Bich Minh Nguyen’s novel “Short Girls” (Viking Penguin, 2009) was named an American Book Award winner in fiction and a best book of the year by “Library Journal.” Her memoir-in-essays, “Stealing Buddha’s Dinner” (Viking Penguin, 2007), received the PEN/Jerard Award from the PEN American Center and was a “Chicago Tribune” Best Book of 2007, a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book, and an Asian American Literature Award finalist. “Stealing Buddha’s Dinner” has been featured as a common read selection within numerous communities and universities, including as the all-state Great Michigan Read and for Hope students. Nguyen’s work has also appeared in publications such as “Gourmet” magazine; “Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing up in America”; and “Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry and Prose.”

Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1974. When she was eight months old her family fled the fall of Saigon, eventually settling in Grand Rapids. She received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and currently teaches creative nonfiction, fiction, and Asian American Literature at Purdue University. She lives in Chicago and West Lafayette, Ind., with her husband, novelist Porter Shreve.

Additional information may be obtained online by visiting www.hope.edu/vws.

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.  The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.