Noted author guides creative writers

March 28, 2012 5:43 AM

Aidan Smith

This year’s Zale-Kimmerling Writer-in-Residence, acclaimed author Antonya Nelson, is spending four days on the uptown campus, working with students in classes and workshops. At one of her stops, she shared her insights and experiences as a fiction writer with a creative writing class.

Antonya Nelson

Antonya Nelson shares her experience as an author of fiction during a Tulane creative writing class taught by Melissa Dickey, adjunct associate professor of English. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Engram Wilkinson, a junior majoring in English, has long admired Nelson’s work. “I first discovered Antonya Nelson through her collection, Nothing Right, in the summer after my freshman year. As a writing student, I’m hungry for Nelson’s prose where the ordinary moments of modern life — playing video games, waiting for a table or sitting in an airplane — become both side-achingly funny and epiphanic, sometimes all at once.”

In addition to meeting with students on campus and throughout the New Orleans community, Nelson gave a public reading and took part in a one-on-one interview with Tom Beller, assistant professor of English. The Newcomb College Institute coordinated her classroom visits.

Nelson is the author of six short story collections: Nothing Right (2009), Some Fun (2006), Female Trouble (2002), Family Terrorists (1994), In the Land of Men (1992) and The Expendables (1990). She also is the author of four novels: Bound (2010), Living to Tell (2000), Nobody’s Girl (1998) and Talking in Bed (1996).

Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Redbook and other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories, The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories.

Carrying on a rich tradition that has brought noted women writers to Tulane, Nelson is the 27th Zale-Kimmerling Writer-in-Residence. The program was established by Dana Zale Gerard, a 1985 graduate of Newcomb College, and made possible by an annual gift from the M.B. and Edna Zale Foundation of Dallas.

In 2010, the program became fully endowed through a gift from Martha McCarty Kimmerling, who graduated from Newcomb in 1963.

Aidan Smith is external affairs officer for the Newcomb College Institute.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000