Tuesday, September 30, 2008

WVU Parkersburg to host free Oct. 6th presentation by Jeff Biggers, author of "The United States of Appalachia."

The award-winning author of "The United States of Appalachia" will discuss his book in a free presentation at 7 p.m., Oct. 6, at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

Jeff Biggers' topic will be "The United States of Appalachia: Debunking Stereotypes and Long-Held Misperceptions about Appalachia."

The program is free and open to the public. It will be held on the WVU Parkersburg campus in the Caperton Center for Applied Technology auditorium (Room C102).

Biggers will chronicle how Appalachians have been in the forefront of change and progress in American history, from the earliest struggles of the American Revolution, the abolitionist, labor, civil rights and environmental movements, and in national literary and musical endeavors.
He has worked as a writer, educator, radio correspondent, and community organizer across the United States, Europe, India and Mexico. His award-winning stories have appeared on NPR, PRI, and in scores of travel, literary and music magazines, and national and foreign newspapers. He has been a commentator on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and for Pacific News Service national syndication. He is also the author of "In the Sierra Madre."

Biggers' work has received numerous honors, including an American Book Award, a Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism, a Field Foundation Fellowship and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. He serves as a contributing editor to The Bloomsbury Review, and is a member of the PEN American Center. In the 1990s, as part of his work to develop literacy and literary programs in rural, reservation and neglected communities in the American Southwest, he founded the Northern Arizona Book Festival. In the 1980s, Biggers served as an assistant to former Senator George McGovern in Washington, DC, and as a personal aide to Rev. William Sloane Coffin at the Riverside Church in New York City.

Biggers' appearance is jointly sponsored by the WVU at Parkersburg Social Justice Committee, Social Sciences Division, and Humanities Lecture Series.

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