Swamplandia! Author Karen Russell Opens Emily Balch Speaker Series, Joins Students at Swamp-Themed Dessert

Posted October 20th, 2011 at 3:14 pm.

Karen Russell's Upcoming Public Appearances at BMC

Celebrated author Karen Russell inaugurated the Emily Balch Speaker Series for first-year students on Wednesday, Oct. 19, with a lively presentation about her work, noting how valuable her undergraduate liberal-arts education has been to her career as a writer.

The speaker series is linked to the Emily Balch Seminars, which are discussion-oriented, reading- and writing-intensive courses for first-year students. Russell, who had already been identified by The New Yorker as one of the nation's top young writers when her first novel, Swamplandia!, was published last spring, is teaching in the Bryn Mawr College Creative Writing Program this fall.

Creative Writing Program Director Daniel Torday introduced Russell and served as an interviewer, asking her questions about passages from her work that were projected on a screen. Russell then took questions from the audience, which included members of the faculty and deans as well as first-year students.

Following the presentation, Russell joined her audience for dessert in Thomas Great Hall, which had been transformed by Bryn Mawr College Dining Services into a fanciful swamp, complete with stuffed alligators, in honor of Russell's highly acclaimed novel. Swamplandia-themed desserts included a Ouija-board cake and leviathan punch. See photos from the event in the slideshow embedded above (or visit the slideshow on Bryn Mawr's Flickr site).

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