TAMIU Debuts New Writers Series April 3

A new speaker series that celebrates the voice of writers will debut this April at Texas A&M International University under the auspices of the University's Writing Center. (photos)

"Voices in the Monte," as the series has been dubbed, provides an opportunity for students, members of the University's service community, and the public to visit with local, regional and national writers who will share their personal vision of writing and finding their voice. The Series is made possible by funding provided by TAMIU and a Title V Grant.

Series organizer Randy Koch, director of the University's Writing Center, said the series will open April 3 with local writer Jesse G. Herrera. All Series events are free of charge and open to the public.

"Mr. Herrera's poetry has a remarkable resonance and documents his experience and perspectives of life on the border. His talk on "The Power of Poetry" will take place at 3:00 p.m. in Student Center room 120. His public reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Bullock Hall room 114.

"On April 10, the series will present performance poet Tammy Gomez of Ft. Worth whose social activism is laced with feminism. On April 24, local playwright, poet and artist Raquel Valle Senties, author of "Soy como soy y que," will lecture. In September, 2002 National Book Award nominee, poet and children's story writer Naomi Shihab Nye of San Antonio will be the first of two writers visiting the University in the fall, " Koch said.

He explained that the Writers Series is a natural extension of the Writing Center's mission and presents a rare opportunity for budding writers to glean first-hand insight from the visiting writers.

"The primary mission of our Writing Center is to provide free individual and small-group tutoring sessions and writing workshops to students. We also employ writing tutors who are specially trained students and who have demonstrated excellence in helping others improve their written communication skills. All these forces combine to help students become better writers. The Series offers them a glimpse of what is possible for all who choose to write and share in the joy of writing," he said

Koch said he hopes that the "Voices in the Monte" Writers Series will encourage a rich interaction among people from the University, the city, and the surrounding area with visiting writers.

"Our hope is that it will provide inspiration for writers and readers, information about the writing process, a reformation of ideas about good writing , a transformation of people's view of border and regional writers and an appreciation for the writers themselves and their lives," he concluded.

For additional information, please contact Koch at 326.2885, visit offices in the Killam Library, room 218 or email rkoch@tamiu.edu

Writing Center hours for the Spring semester are from 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Fridays. The Center is closed on Saturdays but open on Sundays from 2-6 p.m.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu