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PHILIPPI, W. Va. - Novelist, poet, and teacher Valerie Nieman will present a reading and conduct a writing workshop at Alderson Broaddus University on Monday, October 17, 2011. The workshop will be held from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and the reading from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Both events will be held in the Humanities Division Lounge, 206 Withers-Brandon, on the Alderson Broaddus campus. The workshop and the reading are free and open to the public.

Nieman, a journalism graduate from West Virginia, also holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Queens University in Charlotte. She is currently a poetry editor for Prime Number magazine, and she teaches writing at NC A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Although Nieman is originally from New York, she was a longtime resident of West Virginia. She now lives in the North Carolina Piedmont. Her life there has inspired her latest novel, Blood Clay.

This third novel, a crime drama based in North Carolina, has been critically acclaimed. Elizabeth Stuckey-French says that it is "destined to become a classic novel of Southern life," Pinckney Benedict observes that “Books this fine are very rare indeed,” and Ron Rash declares, “Blood Clay is a profoundly moving and beautifully written novel about a community torn apart by tragedy.” Blood Clay focuses on a woman who has moved to a rural county in North Carolina after divorce. When she finds it difficult to establish relationships in the community, her witnessing of a child’s death creates an even larger barrier. Her only ally is a man who fled his hometown to find a new life, only to be forced to return home in the end.

Nieman’s other two novels are entitled Survivors and Neena Gathering. In addition to writing novels, she has also produced a collection of short stories, Fidelities, and a collection of poetry, Wake Wake Wake.

Valerie Nieman’s appearance is sponsored by the Alderson Broaddus University Humanities Division and the student editorial board of InFlux, the campus literary magazine.  For more information about the workshop and reading, or about the creative writing program at Alderson Broaddus, contact Professor Carol Del Col at 457-6301 or delcolcs@ab.edu