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Spiritual Journeys


Spiritual Journeys is a part of the annual Words and Music Festival in New Orleans sponsored in part by Religious Faith and Literary Art. This fall we will support two sessions, to be held on Saturday, September 23, "Soul Verses" and "God Writing," both to be emceed by Dr. Greg Garrett, award-winning writer and director of the Religious Faith and Literary Art program at Baylor University.

"Soul Verses" Panelists

John Biguenet, Ph.D. (panel leader), is an award-winning poet and writer of short stories. His books The Craft of Translation and Theories of Translation were published by the University of Chicago Press. An earlier book, Foreign Fictions, was published by Random House. Biguenet edited over fifty issues of The New Orleans Review, an international journal of film, art, and literature. Formerly Writer-in-Residence at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and at the University of Texas at Dallas, he is currently the Robert Hunter Distinguished Professor at Loyola University in New Orleans

Jack Butler has worked as a Southern Baptist preacher, a fried-pie salesman, an actuarial analyst, and the assistant dean of a college. Butler's poetry is collected in four books including The Lost Poems, which was a finalist for the 1997 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize. His novels include Jujitsu For Christ and Living In Little Rock With Miss Little Rock, which was nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/Faulkner Award in 1993. Butler teaches at the College of Santa Fe.

Brenda Marie Osbey, a poet known for lyrical narratives of New Orleans history, has published three books: Ceremony For Minneconjoux, In These Houses and Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman. Her latest book, All Saints, won the 1998 American Book Award. She has taught French, English, African American and Third World Literatures at Dillard University, the University of California, and Loyola University.

"God Writing" Panelists

C. Michael Curtis (panel leader) is Senior Editor of The Atlantic Monthly, where he has worked since 1963. He edits virtually all of the fiction that appears in The Atlantic Monthly, as well as nonfiction texts. Curtis has taught in Harvard's Division of Extension for 20 years and sections of Robert Coles' undergraduate course, "A Literature of Social Reflection." He also has taught creative writing, composition and other courses at Cornell, MIT, Tufts, Boston University, Simmons College, Northeastern and elsewhere. He has edited four anthologies of short fiction and his own work has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The National Review and other periodicals. His fifth anthology of short fiction, God: Stories, was published recently.

Larry Baker, Ph.D., has 20 years teaching experience at the college level. His short stories have been published in numerous periodicals, including the Georgia Review, and his novel, The Flamingo Rising, was one of the top three finalists in the 1997 Barnes and Noble "Great New Voices" competition, a finalist for the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, an alternate Book of the Month selection, selected as one of the "Top 100" books of1997 by The Los Angeles Times, and submitted for Pulitzer Prize consideration by Knopf. Hallmark Pictures purchased the film rights for The Flamingo Rising, and will be airing it in February of 2001.

Richard Bausch is the author of eight novels and four collections of stories. His stories have appeared in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper's, and The New Yorker. The Modern Library published The Selected Stories of Richard Bausch in March, 1996. He has won two National Magazine Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lila-Wallace Reader's DigestFund Writer's Award, and the Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Peggy Payne is author of the new novel, Sister India, set in the Hindu holy city of Banaras, which will be released by Riverhead Books this winter. Her novel, Revelation, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1988, and is the story of a liberal, intellectual minister who hears the unsettling voice of God. Payne is co-author of The Healing Power of Doing Good. Her short fiction has been cited in Best American Short Stories, and published in New Stories from the South and God: Stories.