West Virginia Children’s Book Author to Speak at Concord

For Immediate Release: 
Mar 13 2001

West Virginia Children’s Book Author to Speak at Concord

Athens, W.Va. - Concord College presents the Louise McNeill Pease Memorial Lecture featuring Marc Harshman, Tuesday, April 3, 7:00 p.m. in the H.C. Paul Theatre of the Alexander Fine Arts Center.

Harshman will also be holding a writer’s workshop, Wednesday, April 4, 2:00 p.m. entitled “Scars and Memory” in Marsh Hall, Room 320.

The author of eight picture books for children, he is also a poet and storyteller. His children’s books have been published in Spanish, Danish, and Swedish. Only One was a Reading Rainbow review title on PBS public television and The Storm was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children, a Children’s Book Council Notable Book for Social Studies, and a 1995 Parent’s Choice Award recipient. “Booklist” has called this same title, “a knowing book that will speak to all children about self-image and hard-won success.” Mr. Harshman was honored in 1994 by receiving the Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Collection Fellowship from the University of Minnesota for research on Scandinavian myth and folklore. He was also named the West Virginia State English Teacher of the Year by the West Virginia English Language Arts Council in 1995. Last year he was named the recipient of the West Virginia Arts Commission Fellowship in Poetry. The fellowship will be presented in ceremonies at the state capitol later this spring.

His newest children’s book is All the Way to Morning (Marshall Cavendish, N.Y., 1999). A chapbook of poems, Rose of Sharon (Mad River Press, Richmond, Mass., 1999), was also published this past year. Red Are the Apples, a children’s picture book, co-authored with his wife, Cheryl Ryan, is forthcoming from Harcourt Brace and Roads is forthcoming from Cavendish.

Harshman lives in northern West Virginia and holds degrees from Bethany College, Yale University, and the University of Pittsburgh. In a recent interview, he stated that “I believe our language holds the power to challenge and persuade, comfort, inform, and ultimately to reveal truths about who we are.”

Dr. John C. Baker, professor of English and coordinator for the lecture series stated that, “the McNeill events are always of the uniqueness of the guest authors and the different perspectives they share about Louise McNeill Pease.”

Both the lecture and workshop are free to the public. For more information call the College box office at 1-304-384-5101.


Photo: Marc Harshman

Concord College Notes: Dr. Louise McNeill Pease was born in 1911 on a Pocahontas County farm, which had been in her family since 1769. She was a 1936 Concord graduate and later served the College as a member of the English faculty. She was appointed Poet Laureate of the State of West Virginia in 1979, and held the position until her death in 1993.

Books written by Pease include: Mountain White, Gauley Mountain, Elderberry Flood, Time Is Our House, From a Dark Mountain, Paradox Hill, From Appalachian to Lunar Shore, The Great Kanawha River in the Old South, Hill Daughter, and her memoir, Milkweed Ladies.