GENEVA, NY-John D'Agata, a 1995 Hobart graduate, will give a reading from his first book of creative nonfiction, Halls of Fame, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 15, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Hobart and William Smith campus. A question and answer session will be held at 5 p.m. in Coxe Hall 8. The events are free, and the public is invited.
Since graduating from Hobart, John D'Agata has received two M.F.A. degrees-in nonfiction and poetry-from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. The essays in his book, which D'Agata classifies as “lyric essays” on the cusp between poetry and prose, have been published in the nation's leading literary magazines. His subjects include a tour of the country's halls of fame, a portrait of the founder of the Flat Earth Society, a profile of the brightest light in the world at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, art, choreography, and various quirky manifestations of American culture.
Halls of Fame has been described by noted author Annie Dillard as “a daring, utterly original book by a young writer of rare intelligence and artistry,” and hailed by celebrated essayist Phillip Lopate as “pushing the envelope of the modern American essay.” Publishers Weekly praised D'Agata as “an exemplar of the literary movement toward linking the genres of poetry and the essay.” Since 1997, D'Agata has been an associate editor of the Colleges' literary magazine, Seneca Review, specializing in lyric essays.
D'Agata's visit is sponsored by the Colleges' Writers Reading and the Faculty Speakers Fund.