The University of Maine at Farmington’s Visiting Writers Series is scheduled to host award-winning writer Deesha Philyaw Thursday, Sept. 16. Contributed photo

FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington’s Visiting Writers Series is scheduled to host award-winning writer Deesha Philyaw as the first reader of the season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16.

Philyaw’s short story collection, “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies,” was awarded the 2021 Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the 2021 Story Prize, was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction, and is currently being adapted for television by HBO Max.

It features four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions.

Philyaw will read from her work in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing with the author.

Reservations are required and guests must adhere to the university’s COVID-safe practices, including wearing a mask at all times while inside campus buildings and social distancing when possible. Reservations can be made at forms.gle/QTemDuK17ABWv9dz9.

Philyaw is a regular contributor to “The Rumpus.” She is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and will be the John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi in 2022.

“The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” is available for pre-purchase at Devany, Doak, and Garret Booksellers and the UMF University Bookstore.

The Visiting Writer Series is sponsored by the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program.

filed under: