blackbirdonline journalSpring 2017  Vol. 16 No. 2
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MFA Alumni Reading
captured January 25, 2017

On January 25, 2017, four Virginia Commonwealth University MFA graduates—Katy Resch George, Lea Marshall, Patricia A. Smith, and Audrey Walls—read as a part of VCU’s MFA Alumni Spotlight Event.

George read her short story “The Third Prophecy,” as well as the title story from Exposure (Kore Press, 2016), a collection of short stories that she describes as “lyrical vignettes.” This book was a finalist for the Black Lawrence Press Hudson Prize, the Press 53 Fiction Award, and the Snake Nation Press Serena McDonald Kennedy Award. Her writing has been recognized in the 2012 Wigleaf Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions list and by the storySouth Million Writers Awards.

Marshall read poems on various topics, including dance, astronomy, family, and childhood. She also read from her recently published chapbook, Write For Me (dancing girl press, 2016), which she describes as being poem fragments for the reader to “write themselves,”” and was named as a finalist for the Crab Orchard First Book Award in Poetry. Her work has been featured in various publications including Thrush, Linebreak, diode, and Broad Street.

Smith read from her first novel The Year of Needy Girls (Kaylie Jones Books, 2017), about a teacher at an all-girls school. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications such as Salon, Prime Number, The Tusculum Review, and Gris-Gris.

Walls read from her chapbook of poetry, Cyanosis (dancing girl press, 2016). Her poetry deals with a variety of topics including memory, nature, motherhood, and suburban life. She serves as the poetry editor for the literary journal Failbetter, and her poetry has been featured in numerous publications including Meridian, Permafrost, and Quarterly West.