Writers read for hunger reliefBy Sally Harris
Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 10 - October 26, 1995
The irony of it: in a country where the business of dieting brings in millions of dollars, thousands of children go hungry.
Virginia Tech faculty members and students will join Share Our Strength (SOS), the nation's leading anti-hunger organization that mobilizes industries and individuals to contribute their talents to fight hunger, in the annual Writer's Harvest: The National Reading at Virginia Tech's Volume Two Bookstore at 7 p.m. on November 2. A donation of $3 for students and $10 for the general public is recommended.
This fourth-annual national event will take place in more than 300 bookstores and other locations as part of the country's largest literary benefit to fight hunger. Six Virginia Tech poets will participate, and students will provide music and an art show for the event that will benefit the Southwest Virginia Second Harvest Food Bank.
Since local writers and bookstore owners donate their time to organize the readings and American Express provides national sponsorship, SOS is able to distribute 100 percent of all event donations to local anti-hunger groups.
"People might not realize it, but hunger is a problem right here in Montgomery County," said Katherine Soniat, one of the poets who will read during the event. "Thanks to the participation of authors such as Ed Falco, Jeff Mann, Simone Poirier-Bures, Lisa Norris, and Gyorgyi Voros, Writer's Harvest brings attention to the hunger problem and helps raise vital funds for groups fighting hunger in our area."
Music will be provided by Critical Adjustment, a saxophone quartet from the Virginia Tech Department of Music. The Department of Art and Art History will set up the art show.
Tickets will be on sale at Volume Two beforehand and at the door. Advance purchase is recommended.
All the Virginia Tech readers have published widely in poetry and fiction journals. After the reading, Falco, Soniat, and Poirier-Bures will sign their books, with the proceeds from sales on that day going to the Writer's Harvest cause.
Falco will sign his book Sea Island, a hypertext book of poetry published by Eastgate. Falco is the author of several books, including Acid, a collection of short stories that won the Richard Sullivan Prize from the University of Notre Dame and the novel Winter in Florida.
Soniat will sign her poetry book A Shared Life, which received the Edwin Ford Piper Award from the University of Iowa Press. She has two other collections of poetry, Notes of Departure, which won the Camden Poetry Prize given by The Walt Whitman Center for the Arts, and Cracking Eggs.
Poirier-Bures will sign her just-published second book, That Shining Place, memoirs of teaching on the Greek island of Crete 25 years ago and her recent return there. She is also the author of Candyman, a novel.
Nation-wide, participating authors include Paul Auster, Rita Dove, Susan Isaacs, Elmore Leonard, Alice McDermott, Terry McMillan, Gloria Naylor, Anna Quindlen, and Dori Sanders. The event's national chair is Richard Russo, author of Nobody's Fool.
"Hunger is one of the country's most urgent problems," said Bill Shore, founder and executive director of SOS. "Through Writer's Harvest, literary professionals have become activists in their communities, and they add a unified voice that speaks out against hunger. They recognize the need for all segments of society to join together to make a major impact on hunger."
"Writers Harvest is an example of how young men and women can work charitable giving into their everyday lives," said Ken Gordon, a vice president at American Express. More than half the Writer's Harvest readings are held on college campuses.
SOS is a non-profit hunger-relief organization, a network of creative professionals who volunteer their skills and resources to help alleviate the causes and consequences of hunger in the United States, Canada, and abroad. SOS promotes self sufficiency through funding, public education, and community outreach.
For further information about the event, call Katherine Soniat at 1-5138.