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NWFSC Reads:

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2014 NWFSC READS Visiting Author:
Michael Cunningham
Series Event:  7pm, Monday, April 21, 2014
Sprint Theater

Join Northwest Florida State College in welcoming Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham on Monday, April 21. The evening reading and commentary will be held at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Sprint Theater in Niceville.

Michael Cunningham is most widely known for his celebrated novel The Hours, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. The novel weaves together the stories of three women-one from suburban life in 1949, one in Manhattan in 2001, and Virginia Woolf in 1923, as she was writing her novel Mrs. Dalloway. Through an intricate medley of parallels and of separations, Cunningham presents each of these women-with their families and their friends-as they confront the relentless "push-pull" tension of modern life.

"The triumph of The Hours is that it somehow manages to be both artful and sincere, striking nary a false note . . . And the triumph of the book is no less the triumph of its author. Just when it seemed that it was no longer permissible to pay respect to the literature of the past, Cunningham has done so with an undeniable skill and depth of feeling." (Justin Cronin, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Mr. Cunningham has also received acclaim for his novels A Home at the End of the World, Specimen Days, and By Nightfall. His shorter works have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review, and his story "White Angel" was selected for Best American Short Stories 1989. In addition to the fiction, Cunningham wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of A Home at the End of the World, and he both co-wrote the screenplay and served as executive producer for the film of Susan Minot's Evening. Mr. Cunningham brings his lyrical style and innovative vision to non-fiction in such publications as his travel narrative, Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown, and his edited collection of Walt Whitman's poetry, Laws for Creation.

The film adaptation of The Hours (starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore) was nominated for nine Academy Awards (with a Best Actress Award for Nicole Kidman), and for seven Golden Globe Awards (including the award for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for Nicole Kidman). A Home at the End of the World was also adapted for a film, starring Colin Farrell and Sissy Spacek, and received a number of award nominations.

In recognition of his wider body of writings, Mr. Cunningham has received a Pulitzer Prize, the Whiting Writers Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He has held prestigious teaching positions at Columbia University and Brooklyn College, and is currently a senior lecturer in the English Department at Yale University.

Cunningham's new novel, The Snow Queen, will be released in May 2014.

Michael Cunningham's Official Website


NWFSC Reads 2014 Events April 14 - 21

  • 4-14-2014
    NWFSC Film Club presents a screening of The Hours
    Memoir Writing: The Military Experience in the Field and at Home
  • 4-15-2014
    Coffee and Conversation:
    A NWFSC Faculty Symposium on the Writings of Michael Cunningham
  • 4-16-2014
    Publication Workshop for Student Writers
  • 4-17-2014
    Blackwater Review Reading
    Soundsations Showchoir and the Jazz Ensemble
  • 4-18-2014
    LRC Book Group
  • 4-21-2014
    Student Writer's Workshop with Michael Cunningham
    Blackwater Review Reception
    NWFSC READS 2014 - Michael Cunningham
  • 4-9-2014 through 4-17-2014
    Phi Theta Kappa Children's Book Drive

Monday, April 14, 2014

NWFSC Film Club presents a screening of The Hours:
6:30 pm
Niceville Campus - J-328

Dr. David Simmons, Professor of Humanities and Film, and the NWFSC Film Club, will host a showing of the 2002 film adaptation of Cunningham's novel The Hours. The movie cast includes Nicole Kidman (who won the Academy Award for Best Actress) and Meryl Streep. Following the screening, the Film Club will lead a discussion focused on cinema technique, acting, and creating a film from fiction. Light refreshments will be served.


Memoir Writing: The Military Experience in the Field and at Home:
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Robert L.F. Sikes Center - Crestview Room 134

Dr. Vickie Hunt, Professor of Creative Writing in the NWFSC English Department, will conduct a workshop on memoir writing for military veterans, active duty military, and their families.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Coffee and Conversation: A NWFSC Faculty Symposium on the Writings of Michael Cunningham
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Niceville Campus - S-303

Join some of your favorite professors as they "practice what they preach." Hear our own faculty present papers on a range of topics related to Cunningham's writings.

Featured speakers will be:
Dr. Deborah Fontaine, Chair, Department of English
"On the Intersection of Michael Cunningham and Walt Whitman"

Dr. Deborah Nester, Department of English
"A Unity of Oppositions: The Hegelian Frame of Michael Cunningham's Fiction"

Dr. Deidre Price, Department of English
" 'A Brief, Twittering Nothing': Existentialism and the Woman's Place in The Hours"

Dr. Bev Holmes, Department of English
"Spiders and Astronomers: Whitman's Worldview"

Prof. Sudy Suderman, Department of English
"Michael Cunningham Introduces: Pedagogical Considerations of Introductions and Afterwords"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Publication Workshop for Student Writers
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Niceville Campus - LRC 202

Amy Riddell, Professor in the NWFSC English Department and published poet, will lead a workshop for students who would like to learn more about the process of submitting their creative writing for publication.

Computer lab seating limits attendance to 24, so students should email Prof. Riddell at riddella@nwfsc.edu to reserve a place.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blackwater Review Reading
6:00 pm
Niceville Campus - McIlroy Gallery, Mattie Kelly Arts Center

Come celebrate the writing talent of NWFSC students, and the upcoming release of the 2014 NWFSC literary and fine arts journal Blackwater Review. Students whose poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction appears in this year's publication will read their work. Light refreshments will be served.


Soundsations Showchoir and the Jazz Ensemble
7:30 pm
Niceville Campus Mainstage Theater, Mattie Kelly Arts Center

You are encouraged to attend the joint performance of the Northwest Florida State College Soundsations Showchoir and the Jazz Ensemble taking place in the mainstage theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at 7:30 pm, immediately following the Blackwater Review reading. Though this event is not a part of the NWFSC READS program, the spectacular end-of-year concert by NWFSC student ensembles is not to be missed.

1 ticket free of charge for NWFSC students with ID. Tickets $15 Adult / $10 Youth.

More Info....

Friday, April 18, 2014

LRC Book Group
11:00 am
Niceville Campus - LRC 1st Floor

Students, faculty, and staff will meet for a special NWFSC READS 2014 session of the LRC Book Group. The discussion will focus on Michael Cunningham's novel The Hours.

This meeting is designed to coordinate with the Film Club screening of The Hours (April 14).

Also note that the regular LRC Book Group meeting on April 4 will anticipate the NWFSC READS week events, and the discussion topic will be Cunningham's novel By Nightfall.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Student Writer's Workshop with Michael Cunningham
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Niceville Campus - SSC-133

Students will have the rare opportunity to participate in an informal gathering with Michael Cunningham. Please join a casual session discussing topics about writing, about becoming a writer, and about being a writer.

Because Mr. Cunningham has significant experience in screenwriting and film production, a special invitation is issued to students interested in these areas of creative work.

Note: This event is restricted to NWFSC students only.

We hope that students will become familiar with Michael Cunningham's work as preparation for attending the workshop. Background information on Cunningham and on his works, short writings by the author, and links to interviews will be available from the English Department (E 002), and in the LRC.


Blackwater Review Reception
6:00 pm
Niceville Campus - McIlroy Gallery, Mattie Kelly Arts Center

One of NWFSC's most anticipated annual events is the official unveiling of the new issue of the Blackwater Review. The award-winning literary and fine arts journal highlights the creative talent of students at the College, and this event honors the artists and writers whose work was selected for the 2014 edition.

In addition to the always exciting presentation of the cover artwork, first-release copies of the new Blackwater Review will be available for purchase.

Refreshments will be served.


NWFSC READS 2014 - Michael Cunningham
7:00 pm
Niceville Campus - Sprint Theater, Mattie Kelly Arts Center

Award-winning author Michael Cunningham will read from his work, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Mr. Cunningham will be available to sign books immediately after the reading. The NWFSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore will provide books for purchase.

Seating is limited. Doors at the Sprint Theater open at 6:30 pm.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - Thursday, April 17, 2014

Phi Theta Kappa Children's Book Drive
Various locations, Niceville Campus

Please help the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society in its efforts to collect children's books to donate to local children's services programs.

The NWFSC chapter of the national honor society Phi Theta Kappa will hold a week-long book drive on the Niceville campus, collecting new and gently used children's books. Service to the community is an important part of the mission of the organization, and students have chosen to extend the READS week focus on reading beyond the college level, emphasizing the importance of early reading.

The books will be donated to a local children's services program.



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For more information on any NWFSC READS 2014 event, Contact:
Dr. Deborah Nester
Department of English
Phone: (850) 729-6443
Email: nesterd@nwfsc.edu