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2011 – 2012 Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College Kicks off September 21

September 21, 2011 - (GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.) – Aquinas College’s Contemporary Writers Series kicks off its 15th season on September 21, 2011 with Series co-founder Linda Nemec Foster, poet, writer and Aquinas alumna and culminates with a special anniversary fundraiser on March 14, 2012 with noted author Scott Turow.

Founded in 1997, the Series has brought writers from around the world to West Michigan.

With the exception of the March 14 event with Scott Turow, series readings are free and open to the public. Each event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Wege Center Ballroom on the Aquinas College Campus.

2011-2012 Features Writers:
Linda Nemec Foster - September 21, 2011
Plese Gussin - September 21, 2011
John Otterbacher - September 21, 2011
Luis Rodriquez - October 27, 2012
Thylias Moss - February 9, 2012
Scott Turow - March 14, 2012

>Read a complete summary of each event and biography of the writers.

Thanks to a generous grant from Dr. Tony Foster ('73) and his wife Linda Nemec Foster ('72), Aquinas College inaugurated an annual series of readings by well-known authors in 1997. The idea for funding the series started about 1992 when Linda, herself a published and well-known poet, remembered her student days at Aquinas and thought how much she would have benefited from having writers visit campus.

"When I was a student at Aquinas, even though I was not an English major, I loved and read literature. One thing I missed was having a visiting writers series like my friends at large state universities had," Linda reminisces. "About five years ago, Tony and I began discussing whether we could fund a series at Aquinas ourselves, and this year we decided to implement our plan."

The series will eventually be funded completely by income from an endowment the Fosters are establishing. One major goal of the Fosters was to make the series financially independent so it could be free and open to the public. "We felt that greater Grand Rapids, being the second largest metropolitan area in the state, should have this sort of experience available. In addition to the Aquinas community, we want this series to benefit the community at large," Aquinas College President Juan Olivarez explains. "We are really pleased to be able to provide this opportunity."

The Aquinas College Contemporary Writers Series will be coordinated by a steering committee consisting of members of the Aquinas staff and faculty representing the Friends of the Grace Hauenstein Library, the English Department, and the Student Activities Department. In addition to doing public readings, visiting writers will meet with creative writing students in workshops and will offer readings for students in the College's first and second year core courses.