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Visiting Writer at WIU Oct. 27-31; Public Reading Oct. 30

October 27, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - "I was born on the same day as Edgar Allan Poe and Dolly Parton: Jan. 19. I am absolutely certain this affects my writing in some way."

Eden Robinson, the Fred Ewing and Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence with Western Illinois University's English and journalism department this week (Oct. 27-31), is a Haisla/Heiltsuk author who grew up in the Haisla Nation Kitamaat Reserve in British Columbia.

Her first book, "Traplines," a collection of short stories, won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1998. "Monkey Beach," her first novel, was shortlisted for both The Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 2000. Her most recent novel is "Blood Sports," which Robinson calls "a contemporary retelling of Hansel and Gretel - - the original, ultra-gory version of the tale."

Robinson will host a question-and-answer session at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30 in the University Writing Center (Simpkins Hall 341), followed by a public reading of her work at 7 p.m. in the University Art Gallery. These events are open free to the public.

She also will meet with various English classes and faculty throughout the week, as well as hold individual meetings with students to discuss their writing.

Western Illinois' Fred Ewing and Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence Endowment is designed to nurture upcoming writers by providing learning for a lifetime through extended residencies for visiting writers and greater opportunities for more interaction between students and established writers.

This weeklong residency supports Western's Higher Values in Higher Education strategic plan and three of its core values; academic excellence, educational opportunity and personal growth.

Robinson's visit is supported by Western's English and journalism department and the College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact English Assistant Professor Erika Wurth at or (309) 298-1212.

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