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Columbia Writers Series Hosts Cheston Knapp on Feb. 15.

The local author and managing editor of a national literary journal will read excerpts from his new seven-essay book at this quarter’s Columbia Writers Series event on Feb.15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in PUB 258.

Managing editor of Tin House Magazine Cheston Knapp released his first book, “Up Up,  Down Down,” on Feb. 6.  Knapp said his essays follow both his real life and all the lives he feels he could have lived, from family life, to skate boarding to a brief fraternity stint.

Knapp said he wants readers to feel the book is as much theirs as it is his. ”I hope a reader, or listener in this case, walks away from the event or the book like they just had a good conversation,” he said.

Co-director of the Columbia Writers Series and English professor Alexis Nelson said an English committee selected Knapp because he is both a local writer and a literary journal editor.

Knapp said he began journaling at 17, stumbled across passion for reading poetry in his early 20s and then discovered fiction authors from the ’60s that inspired him to write his first book at 23.

“Learning that literature was alive, that it was being made now, by people who are breathing the same polluted cultural air as I was, was something that really fascinated me,he said.

Nelson said colleges commonly have a writers series to enrich students and showcase the school to the community. She said she hopes students will not only become excited about reading and writing, but learn more about Clarkat the series.

The Spring installments of the Columbia Writers Series are Roger Reeves on May 14 and Kate Berube on May 17, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (in PUB 258.

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