Poet, Memoirist to Read at January Guild Meeting
Artress Bethany White and Dorothy Foltz-Gray will read from their most recent publications at the Knoxville Writers’ Guild’s Thursday, Jan. 3 meeting.
The event, which will be open to the public, begins at 7 p.m., at the Laurel Theater, at the corner of Laurel Avenue and 16th Street in Fort Sanders.
A $2 donation is requested at the door. The building is handicapped accessible. Additional parking is available at Redeemer Church of Knoxville, 1642 Highland Ave.
White, an associate professor of English at Carson-Newman College, will launch her poetry collection, “Fast Fat Girls in Pink Hot Pants,” published by Aldabra Press, at the meeting. Several places, including New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee, provide content and context for White’s book, which explores why tradition, race and economics across regional lines are still relevant.
Previously, her poetry has appeared in “Appalachian Journal,” “Black Renaissance Noire” and “Harvard Review,” whose editor, Major Jackson, said, “‘Fast Fat Girls In Pink Hot Pants’ is a collection of poems whose haughty testimonials will light up your head with nappy wisdom and forbidden light about race, family, rebirths, and forgiveness, and just might help you chase away some of your own demons.”
Shifting from verse to prose, Foltz-Gray, an award-winning journalist and poet, will read from her memoir, “With and Without Her: A Memoir of Being and Losing a Twin.” The book, published by Argo-Navis in October, is a story of what happens when a life is divided into before and after, in this case before and after the murder of the author’s identical twin sister, Deane, in 1981.
The sisters shared a bond so intimate that at times their memories fused and their individual identities dimmed. Foltz-Gray recounts not only the extraordinary phenomenon of growing up in a world that could not distinguish her from another human being, but also the struggle to survive the loss of her twin. She describes the imagined womb life she and her sister shared, their childhood and family, and their dreams of sharing each other’s lives. She also details the nightmare of her sister’s death, its immediate aftermath and her attempts to recover her self.
For 18 years, Foltz-Gray has been a freelance writer and editor, specializing in health, fitness, food and personal essays, and her work has appears in many national publications, including “Cooking Light;” “Good Housekeeping;” “Parenting;” “O, The Oprah Magazine;” “Reader’s Digest” and “Redbook.” She is a winner of the Tennessee Arts Commission Fellowship for Poetry, a Mature Media Gold Award and an East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence.
“Fast Fat Girls in Pink Hot Pants” and “With and Without Her” will be available for purchase at the meeting.
For more information about this and other KWG events, visit www.knoxvillewritersguild.org.