Posted by Mary Wimberley (copy by student writer Cathy Reisenwitz) on 2007-09-27

The Birmingham Area Consortium for Higher Education (BACHE) Visiting Writers' Series begins Monday, Oct. 1, at Samford University with a reading by Charles D'Ambrosio. All readings this Fall and next Spring will begin at 7 p.m. in Samford's Divinity Hall North Room 302 and are free and open to the public.

D'Ambrosio is the author of The Point and Other Stories and Orphans. His The Dead Fish Museum was a finalist for the PED/Faulkner Award. His fiction and essays appear mostly in the New Yorker and his stories have been selected for The Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize and the Pushcart Anthology.

Kevin Young, regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation, will speak Nov. 5. Most Way Home, one of his five published poetry collections, won the 1993 National Poetry Series. His most recent work is For the Confederate Dead. His poetry has been published in the New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Kenyon Review and Callaloo.

Gin Phillips will read March 10. A freelance writer whose work has appeared in Southern Living, American Profile, Preservation, Platinum and Frontier Airlines, her interviews include James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, Dee Dee Myers, Sally Ride, Hamilton Jordan and John Cleese.

Poe Ballantine will speak March 31. His novel, God Clobbers Us All, won the Bronze ForeWord's Book of the Year Award for Literary Fiction. His other novel is Decline of the Lawrence Welk Empire. His essay collections are Things I Like About America and 501 Minutes to Christ. His work is published regularly by The Sun magazine and has been published in the Best American Short Story and Best American anthologies.

The Series features readings by authors of national significance at BACHE schools. "This is an opportunity to hear some of the very best poets and fiction writers in the country," said Bryan Johnson, Assistant Professor of English at Samford University. "We invite well-established writers with good reputations."

BACHE partners Birmingham-Southern College, Miles College, Samford University, UAB, and the University of Montevallo in order to ensure comprehensive education and minimal gaps in learning. BACHE works to make each school's courses, resources and events available to the students of member schools. The goal is to enable students to take classes at or use materials from the four other institutions when they are not available at their own school. In addition, faculty from different member institutions can work together on joint projects, programs, grant applications and information exchange.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.