Three USF Authors at TBT Festival

The Times’ Festival of Reading features English Department faculty members Phillip Sipiora, Ira Sukrungruang and Karen Brown.

                                                                                                                                                         Photo: AP

By Barbara Melendez

     USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2013) – The popular Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading Oct. 26 at USF St. Petersburg features three English Department faculty members from the USF Tampa campus: Professor Phillip Sipiora, author of Mind of An Outlaw, Assistant Professor Ira Sukrungruang, author of In Thailand It Is Night, a collection of poetry and Instructor Karen Brown, author of The Longings of Wayward Girls among the more than 40 authors taking part.

Sipiora will read from his book from 3 to 3:45 p.m. and sign copies afterwards until 4:30 p.m. in the Poynter Center;Sukrungruang reads from 12:30 p.m. until 1:15 p.m. and his signing time is from 1:15 to 2 p.m. at the Poynter Center Author’s Alley South; and Brown’s presentation time runs from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. at the Poynter Center Library.

“This truly is one of the Southeast’s premier literary events, and I’m honored to have been invited,” Sipiora said.

Sukrungruang concurred, “I have been fortunate to read at the Festival of Reading once before, and I'm honored to be part of this year's festivities. I love that's it called a festival of reading, because it truly is. It is a celebration of the written word, a celebration of losing yourself in prose and poetry, being carried away by story and metaphor. We don't celebrate reading enough, and this year's lineup of writers – well – it's simply jaw-droppingly good.”

His latest novel is the recipient of the Anita Claire Scharf Award. He is also the author of a memoir, Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy. Sukrungruang is the coeditor of two collections: What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. He recently won a USF Outstanding Research Achievement Award.

Brown, who teaches creative writing and literature courses, is the author of Little Sinners and Other Stories, which was named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly, and Pins and Needles: Stories, which received the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her work has been featured in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, The New York Times and Good Housekeeping.

This is her third time appearing at the festival.

“I was there for my two previous books, both story collections,” Brown said. “For me, the festival is a great opportunity to share my work with the Tampa Bay community. Each year I meet aspiring writers whose questions always create a fun, interesting dialogue about writing. It's also a great time for me to slip into some of the other author events – there is an amazing line up this year!”

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Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563