Feb 15, 2010    #015
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

Acclaimed novelist Margot Livesey visits Kansas City

Author is UMKC's 2010 Cockefair Chair Writer-in-Residence

Novelist Margot Livesey, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) 2010 Cockefair Chair Writer-in-Residence, will be in Kansas City March 22-26. During her one-week teaching residency, Livesey will visit with community writers, advanced fiction writing classes and high school students from the Kansas City Public School District. In addition, she will conduct conferences with students in the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences' MFA in Creative Writing program, and attend a reception at New Letters - UMKC's international magazine of writing and art.

Livesey, whose latest novel, "The House on Fortune Street," won the 2009 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award, will also participate in other events open to the area's writing community and the public, including:

  • A reading at Pierson Auditorium, 7 p.m. on Monday, March 22, 5000 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo. (reception immediately following). Admission is free, and Livesey's books will be available for sale and signing.
  • An interview in front of a live audience with New Letters on the Air's Angela Elam at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24 at the Kansas City Public Library - Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. Please call (816) 701-3407 to reserve a seat.

Margot Livesey has been described as a master of plot, whose complex works explore both the light and dark sides of human nature. National Book Award winner Julia Glass calls Livesey "one of my favorite contemporary writers... she is a master, pure and simple." Richard Eder of the New York Times remarks, "Livesey's writing is acutely observant; her psychological algebra is admirable and sometimes astonishing."

Born and raised in the Scottish Highlands, Livesey is the author of a collection of stories and six novels, including "The Missing World," "Eva Moves the Furniture" and most recently "The House on Fortune Street." She has taught at numerous writing programs, including the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Boston University, Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon, Cleveland State and the Warren Wilson College MFA program. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the N.E.A., the Massachusetts Artists' Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts, she is a distinguished writer-in-residence at Emerson College.

Alice Sebold, author of "The Lovely Bones," says "every novel of Margot Livesey's is, for her readers, a joyous discovery. Her work radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery."

The Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair Writer-in-Residence Program is an annual one-week teaching residency by a nationally-renowned poet or prose writer created to support continuing education in the area. Recent writers-in-residence have included C.D. Wright, Edward P. Jones, Mary Gordon, B.H. Fairchild, Stuart Dybek and Eleanor Wilner. For more information, please contact Leslie Koffler at (816) 235-2526 or To receive email notification about upcoming creative writing events at UMKC, please email with "CW events" in the subject field.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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