The University of Maine at Presque Isle will present writer and Maine native Cynthia Anderson as the first speaker in its 2022-2023 Libra Distinguished Lecture Series on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center. During her talk, What We Write, and Why, Anderson will discuss her latest book Home Now and the work of fiction writing. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
“We’re so pleased to welcome Cynthia Anderson to campus for a reading and discussion of her timely nonfiction work Home Now, about the settling of refugees and asylum seekers, mostly Somali, in Lewiston,” Dr. Deborah Hodgkins, Libra Distinguished Lecture Series committee member, said. “She will share her experiences researching and writing this moving work of narrative journalism, which tells the stories of individuals and a community navigating the politics of immigration, and the fractious moments and poignant successes of personal and community reinvention in this new home.”
Anderson, a writer, journalist and educator, grew up in western Maine in the foothills of the White Mountains. Her book Home Now: How 6,000 Refugees Transformed an American Town (Perseus Public Affairs) received honorable mention in the 2020 New York Book Festival. Her collection River Talk (C&R Press) was a Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014 and received the 2014 New England Book Festival award for Short Stories.
Her fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, North American Review, Pangyrus, Hayden’s Ferry, Indiana Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Masters Review and elsewhere. Prizes include the New Millennium Award and the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize. Her features and op-eds have appeared in Boston Magazine, CNN, The Christian Science Monitor, HuffPost, The Miami Herald, Forbes and others. Essays have twice been shortlisted in Best American Essays.
Anderson holds a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell University and an M.S. in journalism from Boston University. She regularly offers workshops online and in-person around the nation. Fellowships and scholarships from Hedgebrook, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, ZYZZYVA, and the AWP/Prague Summer Seminars have supported her work. Anderson currently lives in Maine and Boston and teaches writing at Boston University.
The University’s Libra Distinguished Lecture Series was established in 1999. Each year, the LDLS Committee sponsors four to six speakers who come from Maine and beyond, representing a range of disciplines and viewpoints. While the emphasis tends to be on featuring visiting academics, it is not exclusively so. The speakers typically spend two days at the University meeting with classes and presenting a community lecture.
UMPI welcomes the campus and community to hear Anderson speak on Sept. 29. For more information about Cynthia Anderson, visit her website at www.cbanderson.net. For more information about this event, contact Denise Trombley at 207-768- 9520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.