Diana L. Bennett Fellowship Program

Tayari Jones & Lesley Hazleton
UNLV's Rogers Literature & Law (RLL) 101
Wednesday, September 13, 6:30pm

Tayari Jones & Lesley Hazleton

Meet the newest writers to join the Diana L. Bennett Fellowship program: Lesley Hazleton (Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto), or The Accidental Theologist, and Tayari Jones (Silver Sparrow), a novelist redefining Southern Literature who is this year’s Shearing Fellow. The fellows will read from their latest work and introduce the projects that bring them to the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute.

Tayari Jones is the author of the novels Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, Silver Sparrow, and An American Marriage (Algonquin Books, February 2018). Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, The New York Times, and Callaloo.  A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Silver Sparrow was named a #1 Indie Next Pick by booksellers in 2011, and the NEA added it to its Big Read Library of classics in 2016. Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University.

Writer and psychologist Lesley Hazleton, aka The Accidental Theologist, explores the vast and volatile arena in which religion and politics intersect.  And does so as a resolute agnostic -- thus her latest book, Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto. Born and educated in the UK, Hazleton reported from Jerusalem for 13 years, contributing to The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Harper's, The Nation, and others.  She moved to Seattle in 1992 to get her pilot's license, found the perfect houseboat ("basically, a shack on a raft"), and stayed.  Now working on a new book -- her thirteenth -- she also blogs at www.accidentaltheologist.com, casting "an agnostic eye on religion, politics, and existence." A repeat TED speaker, her talks have been viewed over three million times. Among her most quoted sentences:  "Life is paradox; the danger is one-dimensional thinking."

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