Writers Read Author Series 2015-16
Writers Read, sponsored by the language and literature department, is a special event featuring authors who read from and comment on their work. Dates, times, costs and locations are indicated below. (Map of … , , )
February 4, 2016 – Martha Woodroof – Common Grounds, 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments available. Donations accepted.
Martha Woodroof has been many things throughout her life: a co-owner of restaurants, an actress, a magazine editor, a local TV talk show host, and a writer. Her debut novel, Small Blessings, published in August of 2014, has received strong reviews from critics and other writers. Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Harding, declared, “In Small Blessings, Woodroof displays a lovely gift for inventive plot turns and glittering moments. The novel brims with life and complexity and characters who never stop surprising themselves, and each other. This is a delightful and splendidly intelligent comedy.”
Woodroof has produced a solid body of writing in a variety of genres and publications. She has written for National Public Radio (Marketplace and Weekend America) and the Virginia Foundation for Humanities Radio Feature Bureau. Her essays have also appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Woodroof was born in Greensboro North Carolina but went to boarding school and college in New England. There she attended Mount Holyoke. After this, she spent some time in Texas and eventually she moved to Virginia, where she attended University of Virginia. Now she and her husband make a home in the Shenandoah Valley where she is well known to listeners of the local public radio station WMRA, from which she recently retired. One of her innovations at WMRAwas a program called The Spark which was an exploration of creativity.
Other Writers Read Info
March 31, 2016 – Evie Yoder Miller – Common Grounds, 4:00 p.m. Light refreshments available. Donations accepted.
Evie Yoder Miller grew up in the small town of Kalona in southeastern Iowa in the 1940s and 1950s, immersed in a family unit of parents and three older siblings, a Mennonite church, and a rural community. In 1962 she graduated from Iowa Mennonite School, and four years later earned a college degree from Goshen College, with a major in English and a minor in physical education. After living in the Appalachia for nineteen years, she went back to graduate school to earn an M.A. (1994) and a Ph.D. (1998) from Ohio University.
Over the years, Yoder Miller has published stories, poems, and essays in small presses, but she says that the novel form is her writing preference. After working with historical material in Eyes at the Window, she has shifted to a contemporary setting in Everyday Mercies. Midwest Book Review gave high praises to Yoder Miller’s work: “A thoroughly entertaining read from beginning to end, Everyday Mercies showcases author Evie Yoder Miller’s impressive storytelling talents with its deftly crafted characters in a superbly woven novel that holds the reader’s complete attention from first page to last.”
Miller’s interests in education continue even though she is now retired from teaching. She has worked in high school, community college, and university settings, most recently teaching composition and creative writing/fiction writing classes for ten years at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Sign language is available upon request.