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The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON - On Monday, Sept. 16, The Inner Geek bookstore in Huntington will host the monthly Writers Can Read event at 7 p.m.

This month's event, which is free and open to the public, will feature authors Jeff Mann and Charles Lloyd reading selections from LGBTQ fiction and poetry from Appalachia, as well as an open mic session for anyone who would like to share their prose or poetry with the audience.

Mann grew up in Covington, Virginia, and Hinton, West Virginia, and has published three award-winning poetry chapbooks, three novellas, five novels, a book of poetry and memoir, and three volumes of short fiction. In 2013, he was inducted into the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Hall of Fame.

He teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Lloyd is a retired classics professor at Marshall University who has published on ancient Greek "sexuality" and rural and urban attitudes.

He co-authored the biography of a 1920s pop singer "Ruth Etting: America's Forgotten Sweetheart" (2010). His novel on ancient Greece, "The Walls of Sparta," will be published in the near future.

The Writers Can Read open mic night reading series takes place on the third Monday of each month (all year) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Inner Geek in Pullman Square. For more information, contact michaelconnick@gmail.com.

'This Will Never Stop,' WV women speak their piece

HURRICANE, W.Va. - Joan Spilman's new novel "This Will Never Stop" (published by Xlibris) explores the connections between four generations of Appalachian women, not as an evolution but as an adaptation - each generation carrying the hope, pain and anger of the past in ways they barely comprehend and cannot escape.

A mother of three, Lorraine, deserted by her mother when she was young, overprotects her brood - fighting off the ghosts of the past in the challenges of the present, in small steps learning to adapt and heal. Then, she receives a long, confessional letter from her mother that upends everything she has believed and sends her, and the book, into a search for the origins of her family's heartbreak.

Spilman, born and raised in West Virginia, says the book's four voices come from her years of listening to the women of her family dissect the past while stringing beans on the porch of a 125-year-old house. Spilman also has published a young adult novel entitled "Sansablatt Head," a long adult story called "Establishing Witness," and three children's books under the general title of "The Waddling Dead."

Author, journalist to deliver 2019 McCreight Lecture

CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Humanities Council will welcome award-winning author and journalist Denise Kiernan, who will deliver the 2019 McCreight Lecture in the Humanities at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 in Ballroom C of the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center. A short Q&A and book signing will follow. The McCreight Lecture is free and open to the public.

Kiernan will speak from her book "The Girls of Atomic City," the true story of young women living in a secret government city built in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains, while unknowingly working on the first atomic bomb.

Drawing from primary research as well as interviews with several of the women who worked at the uranium-enrichment site at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Kiernan's book rescues a chapter of American history from obscurity.

Over a 20-year writing and journalism career, Kiernan, who lives in North Carolina, has been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, Ms. Magazine, Reader's Digest, Discover and more publications. She has also worked in television, serving as head writer for ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" during its Emmy award-winning first season, and has produced for media outlets such as ESPN and MSNBC.

Kiernan's last two books - "The Last Castle" and "The Girls of Atomic City" - were both New York Times bestsellers in hardcover and paperback.

The McCreight Lecture in the Humanities, a legacy program of the West Virginia Humanities Council, is a featured event at the 2019 West Virginia Book Festival, which runs Oct. 4-5 at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center.

For more information, contact the Humanities Council at 304-346-8500 or visit www.wvhumanities.org.

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