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ZZ Packer reading kicks off renowned authors series

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ZZ Packer will give Emory's annual Phillis Wheatley Reading on Oct. 17 and hold a colloquium with Emory students on Oct. 18.

Author ZZ Packer will kick off the Emory University Creative Writing Program’s annual series of free readings by leading contemporary writers.

Packer, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award who spent part of her childhood in Atlanta, will give this year’s Phillis Wheatley Reading on Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Woodruff Library Jones Room. A reception and book signing follow.

Packer also will appear at a colloquium on Oct. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the Callaway Center, Room N301. Both events are free and open to the public.

Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Story, Ploughshares, Zoetrope All-Story and Best American Short Stories 2000, Best American Short Stories 2003 and NPR’s Selected Shorts Series.

She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her book "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere" won the Commonwealth First Fiction Award and an ALEX award. It became a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award and was selected for the Today Show Book Club by John Updike.

Packer is currently at work on a novel about the Buffalo Soldiers, called "The Thousands," an excerpt of which appeared in The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 Fiction Issue under the title "Dayward."

The Creative Writing Program Reading Series will continue through the academic year. Future events include Danzy Senna on Oct. 24; Percival Everett on Nov. 14; Joseph Skibell, a Winship Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Emory, on Nov. 16; Jireh Breon Holder, Emory's 2016-18 Fellow in Playwriting, on Feb. 14; and Tiphanie Yanique on March 20. 

Emory University ( is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate experience, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. Emory encompasses nine academic divisions as well as The Carter Center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the Michael C. Carlos Museum, and Emory Healthcare, Georgia’s most comprehensive health care system.

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