March 2, 2001
Delta fiction novelists to speak
at Blues Symposium VII
Three authors who use the Delta as a setting
for their fiction will appear at Delta Blues Symposium VII: Music and
Art in the Delta, sponsored by the Department of English and
Philosophy at Arkansas State University. They are Lewis Nordan, Grif
Stockley and D. J. Donaldson.
The three-day event will begin on Thursday, March 29, and continue
through Saturday, March 31. All components of the program are free and
open to the public.
Lewis Nordan, professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh,
has used the Delta as a setting for four novels, three collections of
short stories, and a memoir.
His 1993 novel "Wolf Whistle" won the Southern Book Award and
the Notable Book Award from the American Library Association. His 1991
novel "Music of the Swamp" was also cited by the American
Library Association as well as by the Mississippi Institute of Arts
Letters. Other novels are "The Sharpshooter Blues" and
Nordanís short stories have appeared in many periodicals, including
Southern Review and Southern Humanities Review. His most recent
collection is "Sugar Among the Freaks," which came out in
Nordan has most recently published "Boy with a
| Grif Stockley
Loaded Gun," a
memoir of growing up in the Mississippi Delta, where he was born in
A graduate of Millsaps College and Mississippi State University, Nordan
holds a Ph. D. from Auburn University and has taught at the University
of Pittsburgh since 1983.
He will read from his work at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 30, in the Grand
Hall of the Fowler Center. The next morning, Nordan will conduct a
fiction workshop for pre-enrolled participants.
On Saturday, March 31, at 3:15 p.m. in Museum 157, D. J. Donaldson
and Grif Stockley will discuss Delta popular fiction.
An anatomist at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in
Memphis, where he directs the Microscopic Anatomy Course for medical
students, D. J. Donaldson is creator of the Kit Franklin-Andy Broussard
The six-book series features the adventures of Broussard, chief medical
examiner for New Orleans, and Franklin, his young sidekick who works as
a suicide investigator and psychological profiler. The series began in
1988 with "Cajun Nights." Others titles are "Blood on the
Bayou," "No Mardi Gras for the Dead," "New Orleans
Requiem," "Louisiana Fever," and "Sleeping with the
Donaldson has also written two medical thrillers, "Do No
Harm," which appeared in 1999, and "In the Blood," which
is due out a couple of weeks before his Delta Blues Symposium
Grif Stockley, born in Marianna, is now a lawyer in Little Rock, where
he has worked for the past 28 years for the Center for Arkansas Legal
Services. He has written five novels featuring attorney Gideon Page.
Described as "lawyer novels" rather than traditional
mysteries, the series follows the travails of a Delta-born criminal
defense attorney, based in a fictionalized Little Rock, as he works on
cases that take him throughout Arkansas.
The series began with "Expert Testimony." Other titles are
"Probable Cause," "Religious Conviction,"
"Illegal Motion," and "Blind Judgment." The latest
installment in the series "Salted with Fire" is due for
publication this spring.
Stockley is currently working on a non-fiction book about the 1919 race
violence in Phillips County, conventionally called the "Elaine Race
Stockley received the 1999 Porter Prize given annually to an Arkansas
writer for literary excellence. In June 2000 he was inducted into the
Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame.
In addition to the Department of English and Philosophy, Delta Blues
Symposium VII is sponsored by the Convocation of Scholars Program,
College of Arts and Sciences, College of Communications, College of
Education, Center for Learning Technologies, Department of Art, Delta
Studies Center, and Lecture-Concert Series.
For more details, call (870) 972-3043 or check the web site at www.clt.astate.edu/blues.
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