Kellie Wells will read from her award-winning fiction during an event on the Tusculum College campus on Monday, March 2.
The event begins at 7 p.m. in the atrium of the Shulman Center, located near the Pioneer Park baseball stadium. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.
Wells is the author of a collection of short fiction, “Compression Scars,” the 2001 winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award, and a novel, “Skin,” published by the University of Nebraska Press in the Flyover Fiction Series, which was edited by Ron Hansen.
Her work has appeared in various literary journals, including The Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, The Gettysburg Review, and Prairie Schooner. In 2002 she received a Rona Jaffe Prize, and “Compression Scars” was awarded the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writer’s Award in fiction. She is a native Midwesterner and currently lives in St. Louis, where she teaches in the Master’s of Fine Arts Program at Washington University.
Other fiction authors have high praise of Wells’ work. Peter Ho Davis, author of “Equal Love,” says of Wells writing, “Slyly comic yet deeply felt, Kellie Wells’ marvelous fiction embraces the sacred weirdness of everyday life. These are magical stories, in every sense of the word, by a writer with a conjurer’s feel for the hidden compartments, death-defying escapes, and lighter-than-air levitations of language.”
Kathryn Davis, author of “The Thin Place,” commented this about Wells’ novel, “From within the deceptively commonplace bodies of the inhabitants of a small Kansas town with the deceptively homespun name of What Cheer, Kellie Wells unleashes the clamorous, resistless, marvelous voice of our world’s collective unconscious, the language of ecstasy and despair in all its manifold registers. Reading ‘Skin’ is like finding yourself inside one of the great medieval paintings, every last detail (a sycamore tree, a TV, a firefly, a set of dentures in a glass, a meadowlark) perfectly rendered, and exploding with celestial meaning.”
Following the reading, Wells will announce her selections for this year’s Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Awards, annually given to recognize the literary achievements of Tusculum College’s creative writing students.
Curtis Owens was a 1928 graduate of Tusculum College who went on to a teaching career at what is now Pace University in New York. He and his wife established the Owens Award at his alma mater to encourage and reward excellence in writing among Tusculum College students.
Wells is the third outside judge for the competition. Playwright David Muschell and poet Sally Keith judged previous competitions.
Following the program, Wells will be available to sign her books.