News & Stories
September 26, 2022

Award-winning author speaks at Berry

Award-winning author Karen Salyer McElmurray is a featured speaker Monday for the David James Poissant Creative Prose Reading Series at Berry College.

The reading will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday (Sept. 26) in the College Chapel and is free and open to the public.

Karen Salyer McElmurray writes both fiction and creative nonfiction. Her memoir, "Surrendered Child", won The Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award Series for creative nonfiction and was listed as a “notable book” by the National Book Critics Circle. McElmurray has published four novels including "Motel of the Stars", the Editor’s pick from Oxford America, and a Lit Life Book of the Year; "Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven"which was the winner of the Lillie Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing, and her newest, "Wanting Radiance." 

She has also published a book of essays and co-edited "Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia." Her essays have won her the Annie Dillard Prize, the New Southerner Prize, and the Orison Magazine Anthology Award and have several times been Notable in Best American Essays. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

McElmurray has an M.F.A in fiction writing from the University of Virginia, an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins University (Virginia), and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, where she studied American literature and fiction writing.   There will be a book sale and signing following the reading. 

The Berry lecture series was created in honor of graduate David James Poissant. He has won several awards including Best Short Story Collection of the year by “Tweed Magazine”, the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, the Florida Book Silver Medal for Fiction and the LA Times Book Prize Finalist.

For information about Berry's Creative Writing program, check



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