Literary masterworks, outside the classroom

Sam Houston State University’s English Department is proud to host poet and teacher of creative writing, Alice Friman, for a poetry reading Thursday, Feb 4. Dr. Marshall Bruce Gentry will also be on campus for his lecture on the writings of Flannery O’Connor on Friday, Feb. 5, at Austin Hall.

Each event will be followed by a catered reception where attendants can meet the scholars and discuss their works.

Friman’s poetry reading will be held at 7:30 p.m. Her most recent collection is entitled The Book of the Rotten Daughter and focuses mainly on familial relationships, though her thematic scope as a poet is quite broad. She is currently Poet-in-Residence at Georgia College & State University.

Her works have appeared in such literary journals as The Georgia Review, and The Gettysburg Review, and have won numerous awards including the Ezra Pound Poetry Award from Truman State University. Friman has been offered residencies and fellowships as well.

“She is really a dynamic presenter of her own material. It’s a really entertaining time,” Dr. Danahoo, of the SHSU English Department said.

Friman’s poetry and essays can be found on her website,

Gentry’s lecture at 2 p.m. on Friday, entitled “Living Through the O’Connor Wars: Finding a Middle Ground,” will highlight the fiction writing of Flannery O’Connor and the relationship of the author to her surroundings.

Gentry is the resident Flannery O’Connor scholar at Georgia College and State University, the home of O’Connor’s original documents. He also serves as a professor for the university’s Department of English, Speech, and Journalism. His latest book is entitled Flannery O’Connor’s Religion of the Grotesque. Gentry also is the editor of Flannery O’Connor Review.

“Both Alice’s poetry reading and Bruce’s lecture are open to the public and all students who love good writing and intelligent discussion of ideas,” Donahoo said. “We hope to have good crowds for both.”

Friman and Gentry are a married couple, though their work cannot be solicited as a buy-one-get-one deal. Though they will be supporting each other at the upcoming events, Donahoo said that it is important to Friman and Gentry that students understand that they do not perform together as a couple.

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