Mason Community Well-Represented in Fall for the Book Festival

Posted: September 18, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Veterans of Mason’s annual Fall for the Book festival have already pulled out their calendar and plotted their strategy. With more than 100 authors to see and hear over six days, it’s almost impossible to take in everything one would like.

On opening day, Sunday, Sept. 23, it might be possible to catch Walter Isaacson, author of “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” at 6 p.m. in Harris Theater on the Fairfax Campus, then hightail it over to the Fairfax Old Town Hall to hear U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand read from his “New Selected Poems” at 7:30 p.m.

But on Monday, Sept. 24, there’s a true dilemma: Sit in on the “Life after Grad School” panel (Fairfax Campus, Center for the Arts, Third Floor Grand Tier) with poet Betsy Andrews, journalist and historian Scott W. Berg and Wendi Kaufman, founder of; or hear Davis Wallis discuss “Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print ” and “Killed Cartoons: Casualties from the War on Free Expression” in the Johnson Center Cinema? Both take place at noon.

You could narrow your choices by going all-Mason. On Sept. 24, that would encompass the grad school panel (Andrews and Kaufman are alumnae; Berg is an assistant professor of English) as well as the following:

  • Scholar-in-residence and presidential historian Richard Norton Smith, who discusses Gerald R. Ford (3 p.m., Center for the Arts Grand Tier, Third Floor)
  • Associate professor of English Don Gallehr, who offers a workshop exploring how meditation practices can enhance the writing process (5:30 p.m., University Writing Center, Robinson Hall A, Room 114)
  • Alumna Betsy Andrews, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry, who reads from her poetry collections, including “She-Devil,” “In Trouble,” and “New Jersey” (7:30 p.m., Center for the Arts Grand Tier, Third Floor)

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, more Mason choices are

  • Alumni of Mason’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, including Danielle Deulen, Ryan Effgen and Dallas Hudgens, author of “Season of Gene,” who will read from their recent work (noon, Center for the Arts Grand Tier, Third Floor)
  • Robinson Professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and historian Roger Wilkins, who will have a conversation with presidential historian Robert Dallek, author of “Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power” (3 p.m., Harris Theater)
  • English associate professor Beverly Lowry, author of “Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life,” and writer in residence, Susan Richards Shreve, author of “Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR’s Polio Haven,” who will read from their work (4:30 p.m., Center for the Arts Grand Tier, Third Floor)

On Wednesday, Sept. 26, English professor Alan Cheuse, NPR’s “Voice of Books” and editor of “Seeing Ourselves: Great Stories of America’s Past,” and alumna Margaret Bishop, editor of “Single Scene Short Stories,” will discuss the American short story (6 p.m., Center for the Arts Grand Tier, Third Floor).

And on Thursday, Sept. 27, Scott Berg, author of “Grand Avenues: The Story of the Visionary Who Designed Washington, D.C.,” will discuss his critically acclaimed study of Pierre L’Enfant (2 p.m., Washington Plaza Baptist Church, Lake Anne Plaza, Reston)

In addition:

  • Mason faculty and students will read from their recent works (Sept. 23, 6 p.m., Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax)

  • Mason dance students will present an improv performance (Sept. 26, 3 p.m., tent outside Johnson Center)

  • The University Writing Center will host Poetry-On-Demand with students from Mason’s MFA Program in Creative Writing offering original verses in a matter of minutes (Sept. 27, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., outside Johnson Center)

  • Mason’s own gospel choir, Anointed Voices of Unity, will join acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni in a special multimedia event on spirituals (Sept. 28, noon, tent outside Johnson Center)

  • Students from Mason’s highly ranked MFA Program in Creative Writing will read from their recent works (Sept. 28, 6 p.m., Harris Theater)

Choices, choices. Find them all at

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