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USF English hosts literary symposium, featuring Dinty W. Moore

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of South Florida Department of English hosted the sixth annual Blank Pages Literary Symposium on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The day’s events began in the Marshall Student Center and concluded with an evening reading by Dinty W. Moore at the Graphicstudio.

“We’re very fortunate to bring in a prolific writer like Dinty W. Moore,” said English professor Ira Sukrungruang. “Moore works as actively for the literary arts community, as he does on the page.”

Moore is the author of 11 books, including “The Story Cure: A Book Doctor’s Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir” (forthcoming May 2017), “Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love and Cannibals” and “Between Panic and Desire.” He is the director of Ohio University’s Creative Writing Program and the founding editor of “Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction”.

The symposium featured a graduate student panel where creative writing students, Alexander Cendrowski, Erika Staiger, Casey Clague and Sarah Basil, shared comics, fiction, poetry and nonfiction. Literature student, Elizabeth Ricketts, and rhetoric and composition students, Emil Smith and Spencer Bennington, used lenses and theories from their disciplines to respond to the creative pieces.

Following the symposium luncheon, graduate and undergraduate students listened to Moore’s inspiring craft talk, titled “A River Runs Through It: What Makes a Story Whole.” Moore encouraged participants to look for the “invisible magnetic river” that pulls through a creative piece, whether nonfiction, fiction, poetry or comics.

Notable alumni from USF’s English Department- Melissa Carroll, Christine Lasek and Ryan Cheng- gave an afternoon reading. Carroll is editor of the anthology “Going Om: Real-Life Stories on and off the Yoga Mat,” and author of the poetry collection, “The Pretty Machine,” and the poetry chapbook, “The Karma Machine,” which received the Peter Meinke Prize. Lasek is author of the short story collection “Love Letters to Michigan.” Cheng’s poetry has been anthologized in “Glass Bottom Sky: 10 Years of YellowJacket Press Poetry.”

For more information about this and other events hosted by USF’s English Department, please contact professor Ira Sukrungruang at To learn more about USF's creative writing program in the Department of English, contact program director Rita Ciresi at

The University of South Florida s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a graduate-level program offering concentrations in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. The program emphasizes the craft of writing and concentrates on students original work. For more information, see


Filed under:Arts and Sciences English    
Author:Allyson Hoffman