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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


PORTLAND, OR (December 15, 2003) - Reed College's spring visiting writers series opens with a reading by the acclaimed writer Aimee Bender at 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 5, 2004 in Reed's psychology auditorium. The spring schedule also includes short story writer Gina Oschner and poet David Hernandez.

All readings are free and open to the public.

For more information for the public, visit the Reed events site or call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755.

Thursday, February 5, 8 p.m., psychology auditorium

Aimee Bender's debut collection of stories, The Girl In the Flammable Skirt, was celebrated by critics as being "hilarious, deep, and a little bit dirty," as well as "fierce and true... fantastic!" The book, a 1998 New York Times "Notable Book," was followed by An Invisible Sign of My Own, which was selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of its best works of fiction of 2000. Bender's stories have appeared in Granta, GQ, Story, Harper's, Tin House, McSweeney's, and many other journals. She teaches creative writing at the University of Southern California.

Thursday, February 26, 8 p.m., psychology auditorium
Gina Ochsner's debut book of stories, The Necessary Grace to Fall, won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, the 2002 Oregon Book Award, and a Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Award. Her stories have appeared in such publications as Prairie Schooner, Iron Horse Review, and Phoebe, and have received numerous awards, including the Ruth Hindman Foundation Prize, the Raymond Carver Prize, and the Chelsea Award for Short Fiction. Ochsner's current writing projects include a fictional account of photos taken in the high North and Antarctic, as well as letters written by explorers and ethnographers who visited these high latitudes from the 1850s through the mid 1900s. She lives in western Oregon with her husband and three children.

Thursday, April 8, 8 p.m., psychology auditorium

A native of Burbank, California, poet David Hernandez's first passion was drawing. On the unpainted walls of the playroom, he expressed himself with a box of crayons. His love of art continued on through college at California State University, Long Beach, where he earned a B.A. in creative writing. A recipient of a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, his poems have appeared in the Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Cream City Review, Quarterly West, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Mississippi Review. A House Waiting for Music is his first full-length book of poems. His previous chapbook collections include Man Climbs Out of Manhole and Donating the Heart, winner of the National Looking Glass Chapbook Competition. He works full time as a web designer, but still carves out time to write.

For images or further press material, please contact Beth Sorensen, Office of Communications, at 503/777-7574 or at .

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

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