I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well: A Reading by Professor James Allen Hall Oct. 9

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James Allen Hall

James Allen Hall, whose book of lyric personal essays, I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well, has been called “an extraordinary work full of honest and compelling moments,” will be the next featured speaker in the Sophie Kerr Lecture Series on Oct. 9. Hall, the director of the Rose O’ Neill Literary House and an associate professor of English at Washington College, will read from his work starting at 5 p.m. at the Lit House. The event is free and open to the public.

In April 2017, Hall published I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well, a book of lyric personal essays which won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Essay Collection Award, judged by Chris Kraus. Lauded by Rigoberto Gonzáles for its unflinching examination of “a journey through youth troubled with violence and homophobia,” the essays “are testaments to perseverance shaped by the acceptance of a flawed self, love for a complicated family and an unflappable wit.”

Also a poet, Hall is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation of the Arts, the University of Arizona Poetry Center, and others. His first book of poems, Now You’re the Enemy (University of Arkansas Press, 2008), won awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

He has received fellowships to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and has been guest faculty in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and at the Frost Place Conference on Poetry. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2012, A Public Space, The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, New England Review, Story Quarterly, Bennington Review, and in other national literary magazines and journals.

For more information on the literary events offered this year, visit the English department website or view the annual Literary Events Calendar brochure.

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