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'An evening with Chris Offutt'

File Photo / The Daily Mississippian

 

Tonight, VOX Press Artists series will honor Chris Offutt, an Ole Miss professor and award-winning author and screenwriter.

Doors for “An Evening with Chris Offutt” will open at 7 p.m. at The Power House Arts Center.

“When we heard that Chris Offuit was now in Oxford teaching screenwriting at the University of Mississippi, well, we couldn’t help but ask him to be a part of the Series,” co-founder of Vox Press Inc., Louis Bourgeois, said.

Offutt, who grew up in a rural eastern Kentucky, is the author of award-winning books of fiction and memoir including, Kentucky Straight, The Same River Twice, The Good Brother and Out of the Woods. He has written for HBO television shows like True Blood and Treme, as well as Showtime’s Weeds.

Offutt, assistant professor of English and screenwriting, received his bachelor’s degree in theater from Morehead State University in 1981 and received his M.F.A., in fiction from The University of Iowa in 1990.

He was the Writers Guild of America’s 2008 nominee for best writing for the show “True Blood” and has also received awards from the Lannan Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for Fiction, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment for the Arts and the Whiting Foundation.

“Offutt’s fiction and memoir are some of the best writing to come out of America over the past 20 years or so,” Bourgeois said. “I first read his collection of stories, Kentucky Straight, over 10 years ago, and I still think about passages from that book nearly every day.”

The Series seeks to offer a free community forum for the celebration and appreciation of the arts in Mississippi. The event will feature readings and from Offutt’s works, as well as a public discussion with Offutt at the end of the evening. There will also be musical artists, a raffle and refreshments available for a small donation.

“The fact that Chris Offutt is now in Mississippi just adds that much more to the already great literary heritage we have here,” Bourgeois said.

The event is free to the public but donations are appreciated. Vox Press Inc. is a non-profit literary press that has been based in Oxford since 2004. The Vox Press Artists Series is sponsored in part by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and the Mississippi Arts Commission.