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Author Schmitt to read from "beautiful and heartbreaking" memoir at APSU on Oct. 23

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Kate Schmitt’s grandmother was in her 30s when she committed suicide. The tragic event took place long before Schmitt was born, but the death has haunted her throughout her life. After years of struggling with this unwanted legacy, Schmitt, a skilled poet, decided to face these demons by writing a memoir addressed to her late grandmother.

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Kate Schmitt’s grandmother was in her 30s when she committed suicide. The tragic event took place long before Schmitt was born, but the death has haunted her throughout her life. After years of struggling with this unwanted legacy, Schmitt, a skilled poet, decided to face these demons by writing a memoir addressed to her late grandmother.

            The resulting work, “Singing Bones,” won the 2013 Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Award. In celebration of the book’s release, Schmitt will read from her memoir at 4 p.m. on Oct. 23, in the Austin Peay State University Morgan University Center, Room 303. A reception and book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

            The Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Award is a biennial contest hosted by APSU’s literary journal and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts. In alternate years, the press sponsors the Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry.

            Barbara Hamby, an award winning novelist and screenwriter, read an early manuscript of the book and praised Schmitt’s “beautiful and heartbreaking memoir” for its transformative power.

            “The magic of this book is that a true heroine emerges, one who has braved the snares of the past and stepped into the present moment completely herself,” Hamby wrote.

            For the contest, the literary press invited renowned essayist Joni Tevis to judge the submitted manuscripts. Tevis, author of “The Wet Collection” and recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, will also read from her work at the Oct. 23 event. Her writing has appeared in the Oxford American, The Bellingham Review, the North Dakota Quarterly and elsewhere.

            Schmitt has an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. Her work has been published in several literary journals, including the Birmingham Review, the Southern Poetry Review and Louisiana Literature.

          For more information on the reading or the Zone 3 Creative Nonfiction Award, contact Susan Wallace, Zone 3 editor, at wallacess@apsu.edu.