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March 12, 2014

Seminole State College to host creativity symposium

Seminole — The Language Arts and Humanities Division at Seminole State College is hosting its Fourth Annual “Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium: A Showcase of Oklahoma Artists, Musicians, Actors, Writers, and Dancers” on Thursday, April 24 and Friday, April 25, 2014.

The free symposium will begin at 8 a.m. both days in the Jeff Johnston Fine Arts Center on the SSC campus. 

The event is open to the public, and area high schools and middle schools are welcome to bring their students to enjoy two days filled with an eclectic mix of varied musical performances, creative writings, dramatic readings, artistic presentations, and dances by both professional and emerging Oklahoma artists and scholars.

This year’s featured presenters include keynote speaker Rilla Askew, award-winning novelist, and special guest Dustin Mater, acclaimed Chickasaw visual artist.  

Rilla Askew will speak at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 25. Askew, born and reared in Oklahoma around the Tulsa and McAlester areas, writes about the Oklahoma experience as well as the American experience.  

Askew received a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.   Her essays and short fiction have appeared in a variety of journals, and her story, “The Killing Blanket,” was selected for Prize Stories 1993: The O. Henry Awards.

Askew’s first novel, "The Mercy Seat," was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the  Dublin IMPAC Prize, was a Boston Globe Notable Book, and received the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998.  

"Fire in Beulah," her novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, received the American Book Award and the Myers Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.

She was a 2004 fellow at Civiella Ranieri in Umbertide, Italy, and in 2008, her novel "Harpsong" received the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas. Askew received the 2011 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the book. 

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