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Appalachian poet Michael Chitwood featured writer at UVa-Wise Coffee Night

Acclaimed Appalachian poet Michael Chitwood will compare writing to a pilgrimage and discuss his creative process during his upcoming two-day visit to The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

ChitwoodChitwood’s public lecture, “Talking to the Crow: An Exploration of Where Poems Come From,” is set for Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. in the Chapel of All Faiths. The event is free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, Chitwood is the featured writer at Coffee Night, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel of All Faiths. Coffee Night is a reading/performing event dedicated to the poetry and prose of campus and community creative writers. The Department of Language and Literature, the Department of Communication Studies and the Jimson Weed literary journal sponsor Coffee Night.

Chitwood teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and is a rising regional and national poet, author and essayist. His poetry and fiction have appeared in “Poetry,” “The New Republic,” “Threepenny Review,” “Virginia Quarterly Review,” “Field,” “The Georgia Review,” “Southern Review,” “TriQuarterly,” “Oxford American” and numerous other journals. A prolific and award-winning writer, he has published six collections of poetry: “Salt Works,” “Whet,” “The Weave Room,” “From Whence,” “Spill” and “Gospel Road Going,” a collection of poems about his native Appalachia, which was awarded the 2003 Roanoke-Chowan Prize for Poetry.

Chitwood, a native of Redwood, received his MFA at the University of Virginia. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, founder of the North Carolina Writer’s Network Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize and recipient of the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Award, the Robert Ruark Foundation Award for Short Fiction, the North Carolina Writers’ Network Creative Nonfiction Award and a North Carolina Arts Council Writers Fellowship.

Confirmed Coffee Night presenters include Rita Quillen, Christopher Scalia, Lavonne Baker, Sarah Gilliam, Sharyn Martin, Loretta Lester, Erin Dalton, John Reeves, Jade Bolling, Ashley Ryan, Austin McGrady, Joe Necessary, Margie Tucker, Craig Rice and others.

Copies of the latest issue of Jimson Weed, the College's literary journal, will be available at Coffee Night. UVa-Wise students receive cultural credit for attending.

Members of the community interested in presenting their prose or poetry at Coffee Night should contact Gillian Huang-Tiller at 276-376-4552 or

For more information, contact the Office of College Relations at 276-328-0130.