Writer's Block

NEA awards UC Professor

Michael Griffith

Just before the holidays, MICHAEL GRIFFITH won the artistic lottery. He was awarded a 2004 NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS FELLOWSHIP in fiction writing. Griffith, an assistant professor in fiction writing at the University of Cincinnati, is one of 42 recipients in literature. Recipients receive $20,000 towards their projects. The grant is designed to give writers the time and means with which to write. Griffith, formerly associate editor of the Southern Review, will use his allotment to finish his third book. His comedic debut novel, Spikes, was set against the world of golf in which an everyman impersonates a South African golfer. Last year, Griffith released Bibliophilia, a collection consisting of a novella and five short stories. The title piece, once again rife with humor, centered on a "sex cop" — a university librarian charged with preventing students from coupling in the stacks. No wonder the NEA has saw fit to endorse Griffith. It'll be interesting to see what strange scenario serves as the backdrop for his latest release. ...

Dayton's BOOKS & CO. once again hosts its signature event, SIGNED AUTHORS POSTER AUCTION. The silent portion is already underway, but the live auction kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with 25 posters up for grabs. Many posters have extra goodies, such as a quilt to accompany poet NIKKI GIOVANNI's poster or a signed basketball teaming up with sports great OSCAR ROBERTSON's contribution. JENNIFER CHAVERINI, IAN RANKIN, KAREN ROBARDS and LISA SCOTTOLINE have promised to name characters in their forthcoming books after their winning bidders. More autographs up for grabs include MITCH ALBOM, JIM DAVIS & GARFIELD, RICHARD PAUL EVANS, MICK FOLEY, HOMER HICKAM, OLIVER NORTH, TY PENNINGTON and NICHOLAS SPARKS. Proceeds from the auction benefit The Miami Valley Literacy Council, Project READ, Kettering City Schools' Even Start Program, Womanline of Dayton's ABCs for Babies Program and the Back Pack Project. For more information, call 937-298-6540.

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