Jill Essbaum and Paul Shepherd reading on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 7 PM
February 12, 2011
Jill Alexander Essbaum is the author of three collections of poems, including Heaven, which won the Bakeless Prize. Jill teaches in UC-Riverside’s creative writing program. Agha Shahid Ali says of her: “Only the best writers put us right at the site of myth and thus assert, for us, our right to be part of the beginning and end of any world, any heaven. That Jill Alexander Essbaum does it so quietly, so delicately, and puts herself, and us, at the center of Heaven itself leads me only to envy.”
Paul Shepherd’s novel More Like Not Running Away won the Mary McCarthy Award. Christian Century’s review said “This impressive debut novel resembles Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead with its masterful characterization, narrative economy, finely tuned prose and attention to the inner contours of spiritual dilemmas. But in its approach to the father-son theme, Shepherd’s novel is completely and fascinatingly opposite Gilead, almost like a photographic negative.” Paul is former Kingsbury Fellow and Writer in Residence at Florida State University.