International humanitarian and author John Bul Dau visited The Williston Northampton School on Tuesday, November 8. Mr. Dau addressed the entire student body in the Athletic Center in the morning. Parents and alumni were invited to view his presentation via a live webcast. Following his presentation, Mr. Dau spent time in Williston’s classrooms, meeting with students and participating in class discussions.
In preparation for his visit, many students, including those taking World Civilizations and all Middle School students, read his memoir, God Grew Tired of Us. The book chronicles Dau’s journey as one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan.” He traveled over 1,000 miles by foot, subsisted in the desert, and finally arrived in the United States as a refugee. He has since attended Syracuse University and created the American Care for Sudan Foundation, which has raised more than $170,000 to build a clinic in southern Sudan.
Poet Nikky Finney, recently nominated for a National Book Award, will be visiting the Williston Northampton School campus on Thursday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. as part of this year’s Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of four collections of poetry: On Wings Made of Gauze; Rice, recipient of a PEN America Open Book Award; The World Is Round, recipient of the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Award for Poetry; and Head Off & Split. A recipient of the Kentucky Foundation for Women Artists Fellowship Award and The Governor’s Award in the Arts, Finney has taught at Smith College and Berea College, and is a former faculty member at Cave Canem, a writing home for African American poets.
The 14th Writers’ Workshop Series continues with author Andre Dubus III on October 11, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Dodge Room of the Reed Campus Center.
Andre Dubus III is the author of a collection of short fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories; the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog, and The Garden of Last Days; and a memoir, Townie. Published in 20 languages and made into an Academy Award-nominated motion picture, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Booksense Book of the Year. It was also an Oprah Book Club Selection and reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for fiction, and the Pushcart Prize. He is a member of PEN American Center, has served as a panelist for The National Book Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts, and has taught at Harvard University, Tufts University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he is a full-time faculty member.
The 13th Writers’ Workshop Series ends with author and journalist Thomas French on November 30, 2010, 7:00 p.m. in the Dodge Room in the Reed Campus Center. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Thomas French was a feature journalist for the St. Petersburg Times where he wrote seminal pieces such as ‘A Cry In The Night’, a story that “made a model for the rest of us to follow,” according to Washington Post reporter Anne Hull.
In 2009, his book Zoo Story was published. Based on six years of research, the book chronicles the inner world of Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo by following a cast of animals through their adventures of captivity and addressing the moral complexities of zoo life. He has appeared on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and most recently on the “Colbert Report.” In 2008, French returned to his alma mater Indiana University where he has since served on the faculty of the Indiana University School of Journalism.
The Williston Northampton School’s Writers’ Workshop Series will host author Debra Monroe for a public presentation on Thursday, October 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Dodge Room of the Reed Campus Center. This event is free and the public is welcome.
Declared “required reading” by Vanity Fair and picked by People Magazine and Salon.com, Monroe’s memoir On the Outskirts of Normal: Forging a Family Against the Grain tells an unsentimental story about a white woman who adopts a black baby in small town Texas. Published in June 2010, it has since been on the “Top 10 Books to Pick Up” in O: the Oprah Magazine.