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Griffiths to conclude Writers @ Monmouth series April 5

In the final installment of this year’s Writers @ Monmouth series, the Monmouth College campus will be treated to the work of Dave Griffth and Jessica Mesman Griffith, a writing couple who live in northern Michigan. In addition to meeting with creative writing students, the Griffiths will give a joint reading at 6:30 p.m. April 5 in the Mellinger Center. The reading is free and open to the public.

Dave Griffith is director of creative writing at Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Mich. His essays and reviews have appeared widely both in print and online in several publications, including Utne Reader, The Normal School, Image, Creative Nonfiction, Killing the Buddha and The Mammoth. A graduate of the M.F.A. program in fiction writing at University of Pittsburgh, he is the author of A Good War is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America (Soft Skull Press, 2006) and is currently completing a manuscript titled Pyramid Scheme: Making Art and Being Broke in America.

Jessica Mesman Griffith also earned her M. F. A. from University of Pittsburgh. With Amy Andrews, she is co-author of the memoir Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship in Letters (Loyola University Press, 2013), winner of the 2014 Christopher Award. Her essays have appeared in Elle, Creative Nonfiction and Godspy, among others. She is co-founder and editor of Sick Pilgrim, which was recently named the Wilbur Award winner from the Religion Communicators Council for best faith-based blog. In its citation, the council described Sick Pilgrim as “a decidedly offbeat, dark yet stubbornly hopeful blog” that offers “provocative takes on faith, art, pop culture, politics, disability and illness, depression, love, death, mercy, music and more."

“Dave and Jessica are gifted writers and a unique couple,” said Monmouth Assistant Professor of English David Wright. “They’ve forged a joint writing life – one writing in an academic role and one making her way outside of academia – and I think that’s a good range of models for our student writers to see.”

He continued: “That they also take faith seriously, but darkly and not narrowly can also challenge and help student writers who are working their way through similar struggles. And, because I am a poet and not a prose writer, I love having two successful, skilled writers who can help us work in the genres of fiction and creative non-fiction.”

Like other events in the Writers @ Monmouth series, the Griffiths’ visit is sponsored by the English Department and the Public Affairs Committee.

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