Ashland University English Department Sets Spring Reading Series

Ashland University English Department Sets Spring Reading Series

2/24/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University English Department has set its Spring 2015 Reading Series that will feature a poetry reading by J. David Cummings on March 23, a nonfiction reading by Tom Montgomery Fate on March 30 and a fiction reading by Michelle Herman on April 20.

All three readings will take place in the Ronk Lecture Room of the Dwight Schar College of Education and are free and open to the public. The readings will begin at 4 p.m. followed by refreshments at 5 p.m. For more information, please contact Kari Lindecamp at 419.289.5110 or at

Educated at the Pennsylvania State University, J. David Cummings was employed as a theoretical physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for more than 10 years. He resigned his position in 1973 out of the conviction that he could no longer work in nuclear weapons development, and never returned to defense work or physics research.

In the early ’90s he traveled to Japan, which afforded him the opportunity to visit the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park. Later, meditating on his experience at the Park and in response to the controversy over a planned Smithsonian Institution exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he began the nearly two-decade project of writing the poems that culminated in his book titled “Tancho.”

Cummings’s education as a poet has been informed by repeated workshop participation in the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Napa Valley Writers Conference and the New York State Summer Writing Institute over the last 25 years. His initial experience at the SVCW in 1988 was pivotal to his commitment to the art and craft of poetry. His work has been published by Poetry Flash, Bellowing Ark, The Sand Hill Review, Slapering Hol Press, and the Winning Writers War Poetry Contest. He lives with his wife Christine, also a poet, in Menlo Park, Calif.

Tom Montgomery Fate is the author of five books of nonfiction, including “Beyond the White Noise,” a collection of essays; “Steady and Trembling,” a spiritual memoir; and “Cabin Fever,” a nature memoir. His essays have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, Orion, Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, and many other journals and anthologies; and they often air on National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio. He teaches creative writing at College of DuPage in suburban Chicago.

Michelle Herman is the author of the novels “Missing” and “Dog,” the novella collection “A New and Glorious Life,” three collections of essays – “The Middle of Everything,” “Stories We Tell Ourselves,” and “Like A Song” -- and a book for children, “A Girl's Guide to Life.” 

Her essays and short fiction have appeared in American ScholarO, the Oprah MagazineThe Southern ReviewRiver Teeth, and many other journals. Her awards and honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a James Michener Fellowship, numerous individual artist’s fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and two major teaching awards from Ohio State, where she has taught since 1988, and where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing as well as a graduate interdisciplinary arts program and a summer program for teenage writers, the Young Writers Workshop. A New Yorker by birth, she has lived for many years in Columbus, with her husband, the painter Glen Holland.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

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