Posts Tagged ‘George Saunders’

Celebrated Author Mary Karr Returns to SUNY Canton for Living Writers Series Event

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Mary KarrAcclaimed memoirist, poet and bestselling author Mary Karr will visit SUNY Canton this month to discuss her recently published poetry collection “Tropic of Squalor” as part of the college’s Living Writers Series.

She will appear at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center’s Kingston Theater. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the event.

Karr is most widely known for her genre-defining memoirs, including “The Liars’ Club,” “Lit” and “Cherry,” but regards herself primarily as a poet.

“Tropic of Squalor” was released in May and is her fifth book of poetry. She tackles serious themes of violence and suicide, but also incorporates flashes of comedy and joy. According to the publisher, Karr’s “brazen verse calls us out of our psychic swamplands and into that hard-won awareness of the divine hiding in the small moments that make us human.”

“In Mary Karr’s most recent collection of poems, she explores among other things, the passing of three close friends,” said SUNY Canton Associate Professor Phil K. LaMarche, who created the Living Writers Series. “The poems probe the intricacies of grief and faith with an unfaltering focus on the small glistening moments found in both life and loss.”

After enduring a traumatic childhood in a small town in East Texas, a period which she writes about in her New York Times bestseller “The Liars’ Club,” Karr struggled with alcoholism from an early age, eventually getting sober and joining the Catholic Church. She describes writing as a spiritual experience, and her work in “Tropic of Squalor” is influenced by her faith.

“I felt like there was a story that needed to be told about my escape from Texas, which was like hell, to my current situation in New York City, where I see Christ all the time in the faces of bike messengers and doorway sleepers,” said Karr in an interview with Syracuse University’s Division of Marketing and Communications earlier this year. “There is such grace in the street life of the city. My goal is to capture a moment, so that it lasts forever.”

Karr is a Guggenheim Fellow and has won Pushcart prizes for both her poetry and her essays. Her poems have appeared in major literary magazines such The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly. She is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University.

Karr’s colleague and fellow New York Times bestselling author George Saunders, who visited the college in 2014 as part of the Living Writers Series, said of her work, “Mary uses poetry to investigate critical moral questions, such as ‘How can we be better people, without sugarcoating our difficulties?’ She is a beautifully frank and funny poet, and her work always is situated on something simple, essential and universal.”

This is Karr’s second appearance at SUNY Canton; she previously discussed her award-winning memoir “Lit” in 2012.

The final guest for the fall semester’s installment of the Living Writers Series will be Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenya, who has just been selected by the National Book Foundation to receive the prestigious “5 Under 35” honor. His debut novel, “Friday Black,” was released Oct. 23. He will appear at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 28, in the Kingston Theater.

Learn more about the Living Writers Series at

New York Times Bestselling Author to Cap Off SUNY Canton Living Writers Series

Monday, April 21st, 2014

An American writer who has been hailed by Time magazine as one the most influential people in the world will visit SUNY Canton for the final installment of the College’s spring Living Writers Series.

George Saunders, author of the New York Times bestselling book “Tenth of December,” will speak at 6:30 p.m. May 1 in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center’s Kingston Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

George Saunders

“George Saunders is a national treasure, one of our best living storytellers,” said SUNY Canton Assistant Professor of English Phil K. LaMarche. “While his satire gnaws at our contemporary culture, the heart of his work always embraces the humanity of his characters, holding them close and dear.”

A creative writing professor at Syracuse University, Saunders has earned fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2006 he was awarded the Pen/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. His writing has been featured in The New Yorker and GQ, among others.

“Tenth of December” has earned praise from the New York Times, Washington Post, Time magazine and Harper’s Magazine. The Chicago Tribune named Saunders “the best short story writer in America.”



He has appeared on “The Charlie Rose Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman” and “The Colbert Report.”

Saunders is also the author of two screenplays and three other short story collections: “Pastoralia,” “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” and “In Persuasion Nation.” His children’s book, “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip,” was also a New York Times bestseller.

Now in its second year, the Living Writers Series was created by LaMarche to correspond with his Living Writers Course. Students enrolled in the class read the books by the authors scheduled to visit the College. Past guests have included New York Times bestselling author Mary Carr and sports columnist William Rhoden.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier College for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The College delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management, and public service to students in the North Country, New York State, and beyond. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The College’s 14 athletic teams compete in state-of-the-art facilities as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.