MORGANTOWN — An award-winning West Virginia author whose Appalachian roots inspire her characters will return to WVU this fall as writer-in-residence.
Ann Pancake will teach courses in Appalachian literature, environmental criticism and other subjects related to her writing and research. She will also contribute to the WVU Humanities Center Community Affiliates program but will devote the bulk of her time to writing about her native state.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to West Virginia and to WVU,” Pancake said. “Working with West Virginia students and communities has been a dream of mine for a very long time. I can’t wait to get started.”
Pancake earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Washington in 1998 with a focus in working-class literature. She has since received acclaim for her creative writing in various genres, most notably her celebrated 2007 novel, Strange as this Weather has Been, winner of the Weatherford Prize for Appalachian literature.
Pancake was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from WVU in May and delivered the keynote address at commencement exercises for the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.
“Ann has already established herself as a strong and distinctive voice for West Virginia on the national stage,” said Ryan Claycomb, interim director of the Humanities Center. “We are eager for her return to her home state to be the inspiration for more powerful writing and excited for Ann to engage with the community that helped nurture her talent.”
Pancake will deliver a public lecture titled “Double Vision,” as part of the Humanities Center’s “Quality of Life” speaker’s series. The lecture will be held in the Milano Reading Room of the Downtown Library Oct. 22.