MFA Program Launches New Reading Series

Spalding University’s low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program joins the Speed Art Museum in launching a new reading series “Spalding at the Speed: A Gathering of MFA and Community Writers,” with a reading at 6:00-7:15 p.m. on Friday, April 18, at the Local Speed Gallery, 822 E. Market Street. The line-up features award-winning Kentucky poet Leatha Kendrick and novelist Mary Popham. Fiction writer Bonnie Omer Johnson, poet Michael Jackman, and essayists Ashlee Clark Thompson, Karyl Anne Geary, and Angie Mimms also read. The evening opens with a “jumpstarting” segment, an open-mic session for 1- to 2-minute readings of works in progress. Attendees are invited to bring unfinished works to read.

The April 18 event kicks off “Spalding at the Speed,” a monthly reading series that showcases short readings by Spalding MFA students, alumni, staff, and faculty, as well as writers from the local literary community. Readings take place on the third Friday of each month at the Local Speed, an open gallery in NuLu conducive to combining visual and literary art. Free street parking is available. A wide variety of restaurants nearby provides an opportunity for further discussion and literary connection at the end of the evening.

Writers and writing groups interested in participating in future readings should inquire with series coordinator Karyl Anne Geary at Readings are free and open to the public.

About the featured authors

Leatha Kendrick is the author of three volumes of poetry, including her most recent, Almanac of the Invisible, from Larkspur Press. Her poems and essays appear in the anthologies What Comes Down to Us – 25 Contemporary Kentucky PoetsWhen the Bough Breaks, The Kentucky Anthology—Two Hundred Years of Writing in the Bluegrass StateListen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia, and I to I: Life Writing by Kentucky Feminists. She is a two-time recipient of the Al Smith Fellowship in Poetry from the Kentucky Arts Council and has received fellowships in poetry and fiction from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She leads workshops in poetry and life writing at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington.

Mary Popham is the author of Back Home in Landing Run, a novel published by MotesBooks. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays and book reviews have appeared in the Courier-JournalForeWord Reviews,  Appalachian Heritage, The Louisville Review, and This I Believe: Kentucky. She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University.