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September 23, 2008 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (September 22, 2008) - Aquinas College will host critically acclaimed author and poet Patricia Hampl on Thursday, October 30 as part of its Contemporary Writers Series. Hampl, a recipient of both a 2000 National Book Critics Circle Award and four New York Times Notable Book Awards, will offer a reading of her work from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Wege Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Patricia Hampl transcends the limits of genre as the author of eight books of memoir, literary journalism, and poetry. Her work has been instrumental in defining what Booklist calls “the memoir of discovery,” with Newsday hailing her as “unquestionably, one of the finest stylists we have.” The Los Angeles Times calls her “the queen of memoir.” Hampl’s latest book, The Florist’s Daughter was named a 2007 New York Times Notable Book, offering an evocative glimpse into the lives of her parents, growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“The materials of memoir are humble, fugitive, a cottage knitting industry seeking narrative truth across the crevasse of time as the autobiography folds itself into the vast, fluid essay that is history,” wrote Hampl in The Waterstone Review. “A single voice singing its aria in a corner of the crowded world.”

Hampl is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including those of the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, Hampl is Regents Professor and McKnight Distinguished Professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she teaches in the M.F.A. program of the English Department.