Reading series supports new Creative Writing major

Release Date: August 19, 2014

A new annual reading series, named after a Berry College alumnus and accomplished writer, will begin in September.

The David James Poissant Endowed Creative Prose Reading Series honors 2001 graduate Jamie Poissant, an award-winning short story writer and novelist. The series will bring a creative prose writer each year to campus who will give a reading open to the Rome community and conduct a master class for Berry creative writing students.

On Sept. 2, Poissant will give a reading of his work at 7:30 p.m. in the College Chapel to inaugurate the series. This is timed to follow the release of his first book, “The Heaven of Animals.”

Poissant’s stories have appeared in The Atlantic, PlayboyOne StoryThe Southern ReviewPloughshares, Glimmer Train, and in the “New Stories from the South” and “Best New American Voices” anthologies. He is a winner of the Playboy College Fiction Contest, the RopeWalk Fiction Chapbook Prize, the George Garrett Fiction Award, the Matt Clark Prize, and the Alice White Reeves Memorial Award from the National Society of Arts & Letters, as well as awards from The Atlantic Monthly and the Chicago Tribune. He teaches at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando with his wife and daughters. He is at work on a novel, also forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.​

The birth of this series is timed to coincide with the unveiling of a new bachelor’s of arts degree in creative writing at Berry, beginning this fall.

“Berry has already established itself as a truly generative place for creative writers, as our alumni accomplishments underscore,” said Sandy Meek, professor of English, Rhetoric and Writing. “With this innovative degree, which includes extensive study and practice in writing and literature, as well as community service and environmental components, Berry is poised to become the premier undergraduate experience in creative writing in Georgia and a national example of undergraduate excellence in the literary arts.”