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Famed novelist Colson Whitehead to speak at UAFS in February

Whitehead, who is known for his novels that confront societal ills, will present a free lecture at 6 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Colson Whitehead, a celebrated American novelist, will present a free lecture at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith (UAFS) Stubblefield Center as part of their 'ReadThis!' public literacy program and Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecturer (WRDL) series.

According to a release from UAFS, Whitehead is known for his "unmatched breadth of subject matter" and impactful novels that confront different societal ills. 

Author of two Pulitzer Prize winning novels The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, Whitehead will also join university students for an intimate craft talk, which will address complex topics in writing and allow students the opportunity to get insight into his professional experience. 

“Colson Whitehead was an obvious albeit ambitious choice for UAFS in our inaugural WRDL lecture, for Whitehead is as celebrated as any living American author,” said Dr. Cammie Sublette, professor of English. “He is a two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, and he has won the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, the Kirkus Prize, and a MacArthur Genius Grant, and in 2020, he was awarded the Library of Congress’s Prize for American Fiction, the so-called 'Lifetime Achievement Award'. He is the youngest person ever to receive it.”

Whitehead will be the first Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecturer (WRDL) at the university. The Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecturer Program was established in 1972 by friends of Governor Winthrop Rockefeller. It assists the faculty at six University of Arkansas campuses in obtaining outstanding visiting lecturers to share ideas and drive public debate and cultural advancement. UAFS is the most recent university to join the group.

Though Whitehead's lecture is free to the public, registration is required to attend. Interested individuals can sign up by clicking here

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