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EAC opens "Visiting Writers Series" with award-winning Arizona author

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EAC opens "Visiting Writers Series" with award-winning Arizona author

By Todd Haynie

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s English Department will host author Stella Pope Duarte at its first “Visiting Writers Series” engagement on Tuesday, November 18, which will include a writer’s workshop and evening reading.

The first of Duarte’s public events is a workshop to be held in English instructor Ken Raines’ Creative Writing class at 3 p.m. in Room #274 of the College’s Academic Programs Building.

Duarte’s visit to EAC will culminate with a public reading at 7 p.m. that evening in the Gila/Galiuro Room of the Gherald L. Hoopes Jr. Activities Center.

Both events are free and the public is invited.

Duarte began her literary career in 1995 after she had a dream in which her deceased father related to her that her destiny was to become a writer.

Her first collection of short stories, Fragile Night, (Bilingual Review Press, 1997) won a creative writing fellowship from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and was named a candidate for the prestigious Pen West Fiction Award.

In 2001, she was awarded a second creative writing fellowship for her current novel, Let Their Spirits Dance (HarperCollins, 2002). Harper Collins has described her as a “major, new literary voice in America.”

Duarte's work has won awards and honors nationwide, including a nomination for the Pushcart Prize in Literature. Let Their Spirits Dance is on the Book Sense List, and was awarded the Arizona Highways Fiction Award for 2003, and nominated as a ONEBOOKAz in 2004. She also won the 2003 Excellence in Latino Arts & Culture Award, presented by Valle del Sol.

In 2004, she received the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award for an excerpt from her current work, If I Die in Juárez, (2008 Spring release), and in 2005 she was honored with the Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award by the American Association of Community Colleges. Governor Janet Napolitano appointed Duarte as a member of the Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2006 for a three-year term. She is also on the Artists Roster for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, serving as a resident artist in creative writing for students in elementary through high school. She is a highly sought-after inspirational speaker for audiences of all ages, on topics related to her work, as well as on issues related to women's rights, culture, diversity, leadership, education, literacy, Chicano/Latino history, writing, and storytelling. Duarte was born and raised in la Sonorita Barrio in South Phoenix.

For more information about the workshop and reading, please contact series coordinator, Ken Raines, at (928) 428-8218.