Fall Connections to Showcase Authors Marc Leepson, Wayne Karlin, Jehanne Dubrow

Continuing the long-standing tradition of connecting established and emerging authors with the community, the College of Southern Maryland’s Connections series brings nationally recognized talent up-close and personal with a Southern Maryland audience this fall with Authors Marc Leepson and Wayne Karlin, and Poet Jehanne Durbrow.

Leepson will kick off the series beginning at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 14 at the Center for Business and Industry (BI Building), Room BI0113 on the La Plata Campus. His focus will be his latest book, “Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General,” a concise biography of the Marquis de Lafayette. The book part of the World Generals Series by Palgrave Macmillan was chosen as a History Book Club selection.

Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette was made lieutenant in the French Royal Guard at age 14 and married into the royal family at 16. Enamored with the ideals of the American Revolution, he traveled to the colonies at his own expense to fight alongside his comrades in their battle for freedom and democracy. By age 20, he was commissioned a major general in the Continental Army and was embraced by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who became his life-long friends. Leepson provides an insightful account of this general, an icon of American and French history.

A historian and journalist, Leepson has authored six books, including “Desperate Engagement,” “Saving Monticello: The Levy Family’s Epic Quest to Rescue the House That Jefferson Built” and “Flag: An American Biography.” He is a former staff writer for “Congressional Quarterly” in Washington, D.C., and his work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including “USA Today,” “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” “Civil War Times” and the “Chicago Tribune.” Leepson also teaches U.S. history at Lord Fairfax Community College in Warrenton, Va.

The second program in the Connections series will feature Karlin, a CSM professor, and his book “Wandering Souls,” beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 4, on the La Plata Campus in Room BI-103-104. “Wandering Souls” reflects on the struggle of veteran Homer Steedly Jr. to find peace for himself and the family of Hoang Ngoc Dam, a man he killed in Vietnam.

Steedly and Dam met accidentally on a jungle path in Vietnam, on March 19, 1969, when Steedly turned a bend in a trail in the Pleiku Province and came face-to-face with a North Vietnamese soldier. Armed, they stared at each other for a split-second before Steedly shot first, killing Dam, a 24-year-old medic.

Searching the body, Steedly found several small notebooks and papers which he took and sent home to his mother in North Carolina. Nearly 40 years later, with the help of his friend Karlin, Steedly returned to Vietnam to locate Dam’s family, seek forgiveness and help return Dam’s remains to his home village.

Karlin is the author of 10 books, both fiction and non-fiction, including “Marble Mountain,” “War Movies” “The Wished-For Country,” “Prisoners” and “Rumors and Stones.” He is the recipient of numerous awards, including five State of Maryland Awards for fiction, two National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships, the Paterson Prize for fiction and an Excellence in the Arts Award from the Vietnam Veterans of America. His work has appeared in various media forms including journals, newspapers and movies. Karlin, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps including a tour in Vietnam in 1966-67 as a helicopter gunner, has taught at CSM for more than 20 years.

Dubrow and her collection, “Stateside,” will be featured beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 11, in Building A, Auditorium, Leonardtown Campus.

Completing the Connections series will be readings by contributors to the fall literary magazine, beginning at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 2, in Room BI-103-104 at the La Plata Campus. The event is free. Deadline to submit poetry, short stories or black-and-white photography for consideration in the magazine is Oct. 31.

In preparation for the Connections program, study guides are available at www.csmd.edu/Connections/readings.html.

CSM’s Neal Dwyer, a literature and languages professor as well as a coordinator of the college’s Connections programs and literary magazine, views the college’s literary series as an opportunity to connect and inspire people who may not realize that they have an interest, or talent, in the arts. This is accomplished not only through the writers who are featured as guest speakers each semester but also through the college’s twice-yearly literary magazine that features the poetry, stories, artwork and photography of Southern Maryland residents.

Since it began in 1990, Connections has featured US Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, National Book Award winners Tim O'Brien and Robert Stone, Pulitzer Prize winning poets Yusef Komunyakaa and Henry Taylor, and Maryland Poet Laureates Lucille Clifton and Michael Glaser.

For information on Connections, study guides and author links visit www.csmd.edu/connections. Books featured are available at any CSM College Store or online at www.csmd.edu/CollegeStore.



Calendar Listings

CSM’s Connections Literary Series: Frederick Reuss. 7:30 p.m., March 4, College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus, Building A, Auditorium, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. CSM’s Connections Literary Series presents author Frederick Reuss to read and discuss his work “A Geography of Secrets” about a world of secrets in which even the smallest choices have devastating consequences. $3 advanced sale through box office or at the door with student id. $5 general admission at the door. 301-934-7864, 240-725-5499, 443-550-6199, 301-870-2309, Ext. 7864 or www.csmd.edu/connections.

CSM’s Connections Literary Series: Barbara Hurd. 7:30 p.m., April 1, College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Business and Industry Building, Room BI-113, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. CSM’s Connections Literary Series welcomes author Barbara Hurd to read and discuss her works. Hurd is a recipient of a 2002 NEA Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction and winner of the Sierra Club’s National Nature Writing Award and Pushcart Prizes in 2004 and 2007. $3 advanced sale through box office or at the door with student id. $5 general admission at the door. 301-934-7864, 240-725-5499, 443-550-6199, 301-870-2309, Ext. 7864 or BxOffc@csmd.edu. www.csmd.edu/connections.

CSM’s Connections Literary Series: Connections Literary Magazine. 7:30 p.m., May 6, College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Business and Industry Building, Room BI-103, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Contributors to the Spring 2011 issue of Connections will read from and discuss their works. Free. 301-934-7864, 240-725-5499, 443-550-6199, 301-870-2309, Ext. 7864 or www.csmd.edu/connections.