Ouachita Baptist University’s Department of Language and Literature will host author Andy Davidson in a reading of his debut novel, In the Valley of the Sun, on Thursday, Sept. 29. The reading, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. in Hickingbotham Hall’s Young Auditorium on Ouachita’s campus.
Davidson, a 2000 Ouachita graduate, currently teaches English at Middle Georgia State University in Cochran, Ga., in addition to his work as an author. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Mississippi.
“We are delighted to welcome back to campus, 16 years after graduation, an alumnus who was not only a fine student worker for our department but a superb English major who was committed to the craft of a writer from his earliest days with us, submitting for his thesis for the Carl Goodson Honors Program a novel of over 300 pages and heading straight to the University of Mississippi’s distinguished creative writing program,” noted Dr. Jay Curlin, OBU’s Kathryn Maddox Professor of English.
“Our students should be inspired to hear a Ouachita graduate who has remained devoted to his craft throughout the years since,” he added, “following that early undergraduate dream with such commitment that we are just a few months away from the publication of his most recent novel.”
In the Valley of the Sun, a horror novel, is expected to be released June 6, 2017, by Skyhorse Publishing.
“The book is about a very human subject: family,” Davidson said. “It’s a story about four lonely, damaged souls who find each other in the worst possible circumstances, all of them victims of grief or loss or trauma of some kind.
“Horror is about what we’re afraid of, and there’s usually nothing we’re more afraid of, as people, than being alone,” he added. “So the genre, in a way, lets us explore themes like loss and grief or loneliness in a way that really gets right to the heart of what we want, which is to not be afraid of those things. So with scary stories, we get to excise those kinds of fears through catharsis, but we also get to see their effects in a way that maybe helps us understand our own fears better.”
On being invited to return to his alma mater to speak, Davidson said, “I couldn’t be more honored. The very first class I ever took in creative writing was as an English major here. I’ve worked in academia ever since I left OBU, as a student, a writer and as a teacher, and I’ve always been reminded over the years how very special the professors here are. In almost all things, I’ve aspired to be like them. They’re lifelong friends.”
For more information on OBU’s Department of Language and Literature, contact Dr. Doug Sonheim, chair, firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5554. For more information on Andy Davidson, visit his website,theandydavidson.com, or follow him on Twitter at @theandydavidson.
Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will host Jacob Hemsath in his sophomore musical theatre recital on Friday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m. The recital will be held in McBeth Recital Hall in Ouachita’s Mabee Fine Arts Center and is free and open to the public.
Hemsath, a musical theatre major from Wylie, Texas, earned first place in the lower college musical theatre men division and was a semifinalist in the sophomore men division at the Arkansas National Association of Teachers of Singing auditions in 2016. He also was a semifinalist in the sophomore men division and lower college musical theatre men division at the regional level in 2015.
Hemsath will open the recital with Mozart’s “Il desio di vendetta” from Lucio Sillia, followed by “Die Forelle” by Franz Schubert, “Extase” by Henri Duparc and Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Younger than Springtime” from South Pacific. Ryan Cunningham’s “But I Don’t Want to Talk about Her” from I Love You Because will close the recital.
Hemsath is a student of David Stanley, instructor of music, and Drew Hampton, assistant professor of theatre arts. He will be accompanied on piano by Kristen La Madrid, OBU staff accompanist. Mackenzie Holtzclaw, a junior musical theatre major from North Little Rock, Ark., also will assist Hemsath for a portion of the recital.
For more information, contact Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
Keen Live Monumental Movie Event
Come to the Village Lawn this Friday, Sept 30 from 8-9:30 for a film extravaganza.
Bring your hammocks, blankets, crazy creeks, etc.
We will watch three short films:
Live Monumental: Follows a road trip to unprotected wilderness across the country
The World Beneath the Rims: The story of 3 artists and their relationship with the Grand Canyon
Drawn: Jeremy Collins, artist and climber, uses live action and animation to share his literal and figurative journey as he copes with the loss of a friend.
The Climbing Center will be open from 4-8pm and 9:30-10ish.
This event is FREE and includes prize giveaways and S’MORES.
This event can be logged for the ON Campus Challenge.