Celebrating the Dorothy Allison Papers

Dorothy AllisonLast September, several years of work happily came to fruition, as the Dorothy Allison Papers arrived at the RBMSCL. Now, the papers have been processed and are open for research–and Dorothy Allison herself is returning to the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture for a series of celebratory events.

Two or Three Things: Readings from the Works of Dorothy Allison
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room

This afternoon of readings from Dorothy Allison’s works includes a performance of selections from her memoir, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, by Duke undergraduate Jennifer Sherman. Light refreshments will be served. This event is co-sponsored by the Program in Women’s Studies.

Out in the South: Writers in Conversation
Date: Friday, September 23, 2011
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: White Lecture Hall (map and directions)

Please join us for a fantastic opportunity to hear four distinguished Southern authors—Dorothy Allison, Shirlette Ammons, Jim Grimsley and Minnie Bruce Pratt—discuss their lives and work. Each author will read selections from his or her writings, followed by a panel discussion. A book-signing and reception will follow. This program is co-sponsored by Carolina Wren Press and the Program in Women’s Studies.

The papers of Allison, Grimsley, Pratt, and Carolina Wren Press are held by the RBMSCL.

Author biographies:

Dorothy Allison describes herself as “a feminist, a working class story teller, a Southern expatriate, a sometime poet and a happily born-again Californian.” She is perhaps best known as author of Bastard out of Carolina among other works and as a renowned activist in the LGBTQ community.

Shirlette Ammons is a poet, writer, musician and director of an arts program for children. Her second collection of poetry, entitled Matching Skin, was published by Carolina Wren Press in June 2008.

Jim Grimsley is a playwright and novelist, and currently director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University. Jim’s second novel Dream Boy won the American Library Association GLBT Award for Literature (the Stonewall Prize) and was a Lambda finalist, and his gay-themed fantasy novels Kirith Kirin and The Ordinary both won Lambda awards, just to name a few of his many literary honors.

Minnie Bruce Pratt is an award-winning poet who began teaching and grass roots organizing in North Carolina in the 1970s, and has continued her work as a professor, writer, and activist through today. Her latest book, Inside the Money Machine, was recently published by Carolina Wren Press.

If you’re unable to make these events, stop by the Duke University Libraries and check out “Language, Power, Stories, Words: An Exhibit from the Dorothy Allison Papers,” which will be on display in the Rare Book Room cases through October 25, 2011. (Or, view the online exhibit.)

For more details on the events and the exhibit, contact Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Bingham Center,  at 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)duke.edu.