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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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?Selected Shorts? to visit S.L.

By Steve Coons

The popular public radio show “Selected Shorts” and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham will visit the Salt Lake City Library this week to take part in the 12th annual Utah Humanities Book Festival.

“Selected Shorts,” the long-running public radio show and podcast hosted by Isaiah Sheffer, will broadcast live from the library Sunday. The show will feature actors Lillo Way, Jack Davidson and Sheffer reading short stories by three writers with a Utah connection. The three authors are Tobias Wolff, a PENN/Faulkner Award winner who lived in Utah as a child; Pushcart Prize winner Paisley Rekdal, author of The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee and the director of the U’s creative writing program; and Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner, who graduated from the U in 1930.

Throughout the festival’s five days, books will be scrutinized from almost every angle. Salt Lake City bookseller Ken Sanders will offer a multimedia presentation tonight about the late Edward Abbey, author of The Monkey Wrench Gang. Sanders’ Dream Garden Press has two Abbey books in print and 11 others available for purchase along with a line of T-shirts and a calendar. He had a long and storied friendship and business partnership with Abbey and has a unique perspective on the man and his work.

“I’m going to talk about the real Ed Abbey,” said Sanders in a statement. “The Ed Abbey I knew and hiked and monkey wrenched and ran rivers with.”

The Third Annual Utah Literary Awards Ceremony will take place tomorrow night in the Main Library Auditorium. Five Utah writing contests will announce winners including the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, awarded by the U’s press, and the Utah Writers’ Contest presented by the Western Humanities Review, a literary journal produced by the U’s English department.

On Saturday, the busiest day of the festival, a gamut of writers will be in conversation with other writers, including such combinations as Michael Cunningham with Doug Fabrizio, Gary Soto with Joel Long, and Pushcart Prize winner Jimmy Santiago Baca with Paisley Rekdal.

“What I’m very excited about this year is

that we have such a wide range of authors and they come with a wide range of stories so that the majority of people will be able to find a writer who will resonate with them,” said Hikmet Loe, the Utah Humanities Council’s literature director.

But the festival features more than writers’ talk. Information sessions on creating zines, publishing first fiction, making paper, bookbinding and printing will be offered throughout the day while a children’s story room and children’s bookmaking classes offered by the University’s Book Arts Program will keep children entertained.

The day’s activities will be capped by a screening of the academy award nominated film “The Hours,” after which Michael Cunningham, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that was the basis for the film, will have a conversation with Robert Newman, the U’s dean of Humanities.

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