Richard H. Peake, award-winning poet, novelist, and naturalist, will present a reading of his fiction and poetry, highlighting one of his latest novels, Love and Death on Safari, a murder mystery based on his birding experiences. The reading is set for 7 p.m. on Sept. 10, in the Rhododendron Room of the Slemp Student Center at UVa-Wise.

A graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Georgia, Peake taught English language and literature at Clemson University, Western Carolina University, and the University of Georgia, before coming to UVa-Wise. He taught in Wise for 30 years. Along with the late Professor Jack Mahony, he began the College’s annual Medieval-Renaissance Conference in 1986. Peake will present a paper at this year’s conference, which runs September 13-15.

A lifelong naturalist, Peake has served as President of the Virginia Society of Ornithology and has been active in ornithological activities throughout the southern United States and beyond. He has birded on all of the continents of the world except Antarctica and has a life list of over 700 species in the United States and over 5700 in the world. In 2001 he published Birds of the Virginia Cumberlands, an annotated list and discussion of the birds of Wise, Dickinson, Lee, and parts of Russell County Virginia (available from the author).  Peake is a lifetime member of many environmental organizations as well as the Poetry Society of Virginia and the Poetry Society of Texas.

Copies of his recent books will be available for book signing after the event. This event is free and open to the public. Students will receive cultural credit for attendance. For more information, please contact College Relations at (276) 376-1027.