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3:27 AM Thu, Nov. 22nd

Noted authors to read at Literary Southwest series

A special evening of words and music is anticipated when The Literary Southwest, the Hassayampa Institute's popular literary series at Yavapai College, presents "An Evening with the Yavapai College Creative Writing Faculty" at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.

Featured readers include Michaela Carter, Laraine Herring, Lori Isbell, Susan Lang and Jim Natal, all practicing professional writers and poets as well as writing teachers. The reading also highlights the new Certificate of Creative Writing program at Yavapai College.

Along with the readings, Yavapai College lead graphic designer and Prescott musician Tom Agostino will perform with his new band, Soul Creek. The event will take place in Yavapai College Library's Susan N. Webb Community Room (Building 19, Room 147) on the Prescott campus. A question-and-answer and book-signing session follows the reading. All Literary Southwest programs are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available.

Born in Phoenix, Michaela Carter earned her bachelor of arts degree from UCLA and her master of fine arts from Warren Wilson College. She is a roster artist with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and is a resident poet at various elementary schools. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals, most recently Puerto Del Sol and New England Review. She will be teaching advanced poetry in the spring semester.

Laraine Herring holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing and a master's degree in counseling psychology. Her stories and essays have been widely anthologized and her non-fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her books include "Monsoons: A Collection of Writing," "Lost Fathers: How Women Can Heal from Adolescent Father Loss," and a novel, "Lay My Sorrows Down," for which she won the Barbara Deming Award for Women. Her book, "Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice," was released in 2005 and her follow-up book, "The Writing Warrior: Discovering the Courage to Free Your True Voice," will come out in August 2010. She will be teaching "Introduction to Creative Writing," "Short Story Writing" and "Advanced Creative Nonfiction" in spring 2010.

Lori Isbell, in her third year at Yavapai College, currently teaches a creative writing class in play/screenwriting. She received her master's of fine arts in playwriting from Arizona State University, where her first play represented the school in the American College Theatre Festival. Additionally, she has published both fiction and nonfiction, contributed to the design book "Understanding USA," and authored The Teacher's Guide for Poets and Writers Magazine. In 2006, a film she co-wrote with a student, "Moonshine," debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. She is at work on a new play and will be teaching a new creative writing course in the spring, "Experiments in Story."

Susan Lang is the author of a trilogy about a woman homesteading in the southwestern wilderness during the years 1929 to 1941. Her first novel in the trilogy, "Small Rocks Rising," won the 2003 Willa Award. Her second novel, "Juniper Blue," was released in 2006 and the third, "Moon Lily," in the fall 2008. Lang's short stories and poems have been published in magazines, such as Red Rock Review, Iris and The Idaho Review. She won the 2007 Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts for her novel-in-progress, "The Sawtooth Complex." Currently faculty emeritus at Yavapai College, she founded and still directs the Southwest Writers Series at Prescott College. She was also founding director of the Hassayampa Institute. She will be teaching a fiction workshop at Yavapai College in the spring semester.

Jim Natal's third poetry collection, "Memory and Rain," came out in 2009. His first book, "In the Bee Trees," was a finalist for the 2000 Pen Center USA and Publisher's Marketing Association Ben Franklin awards. A second collection, "Talking Back to the Rocks," was published in 2003. His poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2007 and 2008 and has appeared in many journals and anthologies. He earned his master of fine arts degree from Antioch University Los Angeles and is the co-founder of Conflux Press. He is the director of The Literary Southwest reading series at Yavapai College and will be teaching "Introduction to Poetry" in the spring semester.