Dinner with Andre

Best-selling author and Oprah Book Club selectee Andre Debus III spoke before a packed audience in the Dodge Room as the second visiting author in the Writers’ Workshop Series last week. Reading from his powerfully told memoir, Townie: A Memoir, Debus recounted scenes from his childhood in unvarnished truth, sprinkling humorous asides throughout the reading. He also facilitated a conversation with his audience, fielding questions about the unique challenges of writing memoirs as well as extemporizing about the art and craft of writing in general.

Debus was variously self-revealing and studiously role-playing, and he delighted in the back and forth with the audience—exclaiming at one point, “Where do you get these kids? They’re brilliant!” after a succession of penetrating questions from our own Writers’ Workshop students. If purpose, passion, and integrity are the three words that resonate from our Mission Statement, then they hold equal sway as credo for aspiring writers.

Debus stated in one of his many eloquent turns of phrase, “writing is an act of deep mining,” and so dig away, Williston students, as you mine for the inner gold of personal expression, creativity, and voice.

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