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edward goreyArtist/writer Edward Gorey would have turned 88 today. Known for his melancholy, sometimes surreal but also amusing illustrations, Gorey produced an amazing volume of work during his lifetime. He is perhaps best known for illustrating editions of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, and Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. Viewers of the PBS Mystery! series will remember Gorey’s eerie-yet-whimsical Edwardian-esque opening credits.

Blue Aspic

The SDSU Library has a large collection of Gorey’s work, thanks to SDSU alumnus Andreas Brown, who was a friend and benefactor of Gorey’s. The collection is housed in Special Collections and University Archives on the 4th floor of Manchester Hall/Library Addition. In fact, in spring 2004, the library presented an extensive exhibit of Gorey’s work titled “From Prodigy to Polymath: The Singular Journey of Edward Gorey.” The previous year, Special Collections featured a smaller exhibit titled “Poetic and Poisoned: The World of Edward Gorey.”  I’ve included a few photographs of the exhibits below. Brown also donated Gorey’s personal library to SDSU, and it currently is being cataloged.

If you would like to spend some time with Edward Gorey, view our catalog entries for the Edward Gorey Collection and select some you would like to see. The staff in Special Collections can access the items for you.

Display case from the exhibit "From Prodigy to Polymath: The Singular Journey of Edward Gorey."

Display case from the exhibit “From Prodigy to Polymath: The Singular Journey of Edward Gorey.”

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Display case from the exhibit “From Prodigy to Polymath: The Singular Journey of Edward Gorey.”

Display case from the exhibit “Poetic and Poisoned: The World of Edward Gorey.”

Display case from the exhibit “Poetic and Poisoned: The World of Edward Gorey.”

Display case from the exhibit “Poetic and Poisoned: The World of Edward Gorey.”

Display case from the exhibit “Poetic and Poisoned: The World of Edward Gorey.”

Last night’s “Saving the Murals & Lovin’ the Music” event was a big hit: good food, nostalgic music, cool decorations, and an entertaining and informative talk by Seth Mallios, chair of SDSU’s anthropology department, about the history of rock ‘n’ roll at SDSU. The winners of our writing contest were announced by former SDSU President Stephen Weber; congratulations to Cheryl Hinton, Donna Duarte, Edward Ortiz, Michael J. Anderson, and Dorothy Marshall! You can read excerpts from their stories online.

Below are some photos from last night’s event.

Enlarged images of posters and ticket stubs from SDSU's Backdoor concert venue.

Enlarged images of posters and ticket stubs from SDSU’s Backdoor concert venue.

Dr. Stephen Weber gives a prize to one of the winners of the library's writing contest.

Dr. Stephen Weber gives a prize to one of the winners of the library’s writing contest.

Photographs from past concerts at SDSU.

Photographs from past concerts at SDSU.

A member of the audience who is definitely in the Valentine's spirit!

A member of the audience who is definitely in the Valentine’s spirit!

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Dr. Mallios tells the tale of the Ramones and the San Diego Chicken!

Good eats!

Good eats!

The Spring 2013 Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series includes a diverse group of artists. The readings are free, and you don’t need reservations to attend. All of the readings listed below will be held at 7 p.m. in Room LL430 of the SDSU Library.

March 6: Sallie Lowenstein is the author and illustrator of numerous children’s novels and picture books, including Focus, Sender Unknown, Waiting for Eugene, and Sir Kyle and Lady Madeline. Her books are included in school curriculums around the country and in Canada. As a self-publisher as well as a Scholastic author, she knows the design, editing and business of books from many sides. Her reading is cosponsored by SDSU’s National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature.  lowenstein
March 13: Sheree Rose’s controversial films, videos, performances, and photographs have been shown at museums and galleries around the world. Beginning in 1981, as the staff photographer for Beyond Baroque Literary Center in Venice, California, she documented the growing music, literary, and art scene in Los Angeles. She co-produced the Sundance-Award winning documentary Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, in 1996. At this event, she will screen some of her work and discuss “Bad Girl and Sick Boy: The Art, Life, and Times of Sheree Rose and Bob Flanagan.” This event is being cosponsored by the Department of English and Comparative Literature; the Department of Film, Theater, and Television; and the Master of Arts in Liberals Arts and Sciences program.  rose
March 20: The symposium “Occupy the Page: Literary Criticism and Activism” will feature poet Alissa Valles and editor/literary critic Dominic Luxford. An Editor’s Panel will be held at 2 p.m. and a reading at 7 p.m. Both sessions will be held in Room LL430 of the SDSU Library. The symposium is cosponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Poetry International. valles
April 10: Mariela Griffor will be the featured artist for the Spring 2013 Laurie Okuma Memorial Reading. She was born in Concepcion in southern Chile and attended the University of Santiago and the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. She is the author of Exiliana and House and the co-founder of The Institute for Creative Writers at Wayne State University and Publisher of Marick Press. Her work has appeared in periodicals across Latin America and the United States. griffor
April 17: Christopher Merrill is the author of four books of poetry, including Watch Fire and Brilliant Water, and numerous nonfiction books such as Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War.  His work has been translated into 25 languages, and he serves as the director of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. He is the recipient of many awards, including a knighthood in arts and letters from the French government. He serves on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, he has conducted cultural diplomacy missions in over thirty countries for the U.S. State Department, and in April 2012 President Obama appointed Merrill to the National Council on the Humanities. merrill
April 24: Forrest Gander is the author of several collections of poetry, including Eye Against Eye, Torn Awake, Deeds of Utmost Kindness, and Rush to the Lake, and the novel As a Friend. He is the editor of Mouth to Mouth: 12 Contemporary Mexican Women Poets and the translator of No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura López Colomé. His honors include two Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative North American Writing and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Yaddo. Gander is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Brown University. Forrest Gander photo: Sara Barrett? The New School, 11/14/95
Joining Gander will be Pura López Colomé, who is the author of No Shelter: Selected Poems and Aurora. She published literary criticism, poems, and translations in a regular column for the newspaper Unomásuno and has translated into Spanish works by Samuel Beckett, H. D., Seamus Heaney, Gertrude Stein, and others. In 2008 she was awarded the most prestigious poetry prize in Mexico, the Xavier Villurrutia Prize. colome
May 1: Harold Jaffe is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at SDSU and the author of 19 volumes of fiction, docufiction, and nonfiction, including Paris 60, Induced ComaJesus Coyote, Beyond the Techno-Cave, Terror-Dot-Gov, 15 Serial Killers, False Positive, and his most recent, Anti-Twitter: 150 50-Word Stories.  He is the editor of Fiction International. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For more information about any of these readings, please contact Meagan Marshall at marshall_Meagan@yahoo.com or “like” the Living Writers Series on Facebook.

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