CANTON — SUNY Canton will begin the fall semester installment of the popular Living Writers Series when African-American author Arthur Flowers performs at 6:30 p.m., on September 24, in the Richard W. Miller Kingston Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Flowers utilizes African instruments in his unique style of storytelling. He considers himself a modern-day “griot,” a person who maintains a tradition of oral history, most notably in West Africa.
“There are those of us in African-American literature who feel that we are heirs to two literary traditions: the western written tradition and the African oral one, and try in the fusion to contribute something to the evolution of both,” Flowers said. He is the author of the books “I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” “Mojo Rising: Confessions of a 21st Century Conjureman,” “Another Good Loving Blues” and “De Mojo Blues.” “Flowers is a novelist and a bluesman, a storyteller and a sage,” said SUNY Canton Assistant Professor of English Phil K. LaMarche. “His performances defy literary convention, incorporating song, prayer, humor and heart. He is a man of wisdom and power and he is not to be missed.”
LaMarche created the series to in 2012 correspond with his Living Writers Course. Students enrolled in the class read the books by the authors scheduled to visit the college. Upcoming presenters this semester are acclaimed author Jennifer Finney Boylan October 16 and novelist and short-story writer Patrick Lawler November 19.