Award-winning poet Brian Turner will be the featured speaker for Angelo State University’s 22nd annual Writers Conference in Honor of Elmer Kelton Feb. 22-23 in the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive, and the ASU Auditorium inside the Mayer Administration Building, 2601 W. Ave. N.
Turner is the author of two poetry collections, including the award-winning “Here, Bullet.” He will give two presentations during the ASU Writers Conference on Thursday, Feb. 22. At 9:30 a.m., he will lead “A Conversation with Brian Turner” in the University Center’s C.J. Davidson Conference Center – and he will then present “An Evening with Brian Turner” at 7:30 p.m. in the ASU Auditorium. Both presentations are open free to the public.
The two-day conference will also include a viewing of the Academy Award-nominated documentary film “Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience” that features Turner, as well as eight sessions featuring readings and presentations by 20 guest authors and poets. Thursday sessions will be in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center, with Friday’s sessions in the ASU Auditorium. The complete conference schedule is available at www.angelo.edu/writersconference, and all the sessions are also open free to the public.
Turner’s “Here, Bullet” was a New York Times “Editor’s Choice” selection and won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the 2006 PEN Center USA “Best in the West” Award and the 2007 Poets Prize. His poetry collection titled “Phantom Noise” was shortlisted for the 2010 T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry, and his memoir, “My Life as a Foreign Country,” made Powell’s “Best Nonfiction of 2014” list.
A military veteran, Turner served seven years in the U.S. Army, including one year as an infantry team leader in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division. It was during his military tenure that he was featured in “Operation Homecoming,” a unique documentary that explores the first-hand accounts of American service members through their own words.
Turner earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Oregon. He currently directs the M.F.A. program at Sierra Nevada College and serves as a contributing editor at The Normal School. More details are available at http://blueflowerarts.com/artist/brian-turner/.
The ASU Writers Conference is dedicated to San Angelo’s own best-selling western author, Elmer Kelton, who passed away in 2009. The author of more than 40 books, Kelton was a seven-time winner of the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award and was the first Distinguished Visiting Professor at ASU. The conference is sponsored by the university and hosted by the Department of English and Modern Languages.