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Terri Witek in international literary dialogue

Witek, TerriFunctionally Literate highlights local and international authors Nov. 22 – Stetson University English professor, poet and author, who holds the Sullivan chair in creative writing and directs the Sullivan creative writing program at Stetson, Terri Witek, Ph.D., will be one of three featured writers/readers at this year’s Functionally Literate: a literary function event, on Friday, Nov. 22, in Orlando. This event, which is free and open to the public, highlights local and international authors. Witek provides the bridge between the other two headliner authors: Caroline Walker, who writes creative nonfiction about her urban explorations of American cities; and Portuguese author Jacinto Lucas Pires. Pires’ third novel, The True Actor, won the 2013 Distinguished Literature Award of the DST (Domingos da Silva Teixeira). It was translated into English for publication this month.

The reading will open itself up to a dialogue about contemporary international literature, pairing the best writers in Central Florida with visiting writers from across the country and now the globe.

Terri Witek is the author of Exit Island, The Shipwreck Dress, Carnal World, Fools and Crows, Courting Couples (Winner of the 2000 Center for Book Arts Contest) and Robert Lowell and LIFE STUDIES: Revising the Self. Her collaborations with Brazilian visual artist Cyriaco Lopes, a former digital arts professor at Stetson, use multimedia from works on paper and video to site-specific installation, and have been featured in galleries or site specific projects in New York City, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Witek’s summer faculty positions have included the West Chester poetry Conference, The Prague Summer Literary Program and the DisQuiet program in Lisbon, where she runs “The Fernando Pessoa Game.”

The series, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month, was started by Orlando independent publisher Burrow Press. In just a short amount of time, the series has grown immensely, hosting award-winning authors in a variety of established arts venues across the city, and drawing an average attendance of nearly 100 people.

Orlando is only one stop on Pires’ East Coast book tour. Other stops include Boston, New York, New Orleans and Miami.

“It’s good to see Orlando on that list,” Functionally Literate host, Jared Silvia, says. “Most people don’t think of Orlando as a literary city… They’d be surprised.”

The Functionally Literate: a literary function, is Friday, Nov. 22, at The Gallery at Avalon Island (upstairs theater), 39 S. Magnolia Ave, Orlando. Happy Hour is at 6 p.m. The Readings begin at 8 p.m. For more information, contact Ryan Rivas, at 786-547-0430 (cell); 407-422-8755; ryan@burrowpress.com.

Be sure to check out the Thursday, Nov. 21 Orlando Weekly, which features Friday’s Functionally Literate event, and offers directions to the venue.