Sunil Yapa will give reading at Nittany Lion Inn

Novelist and Penn State alum Sunil Yapa will visit University Park on March 21-22. During his visit, Yapa will participate in two free public events: a discussion of his novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, to be held Wednesday, March 21, at 7:00 pm, at the HUB-Robeson Center’s Freeman Auditorium, and a reading at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, in the Nittany Lion Inn’s Alumni Lounge.

Sunil Yapa is a State College native who received his BA from Penn State and his MFA in Fiction from Hunter College in New York City in 2010, where he was a Hertog Fellow for Zadie Smith. The biracial son of a Sri Lankan father and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived around the world, including, Greece, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, China, and India, as well as, London, Montreal, and New York City. He currently lives in Central Pennsylvania and teaches in low-residency MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College.

Yapa’s debut novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist (2016) is set in Seattle, Washington, where in November of 1999, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered to protest the World Trade Organization conference being held at the city’s convention center. The book was selected as a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and found its way onto many “best” lists, including Time Magazine’s Best Books of the Year, Amazon Best Books of the Year, Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers, and Washington Post Notable Books. Of the novel, Ron Charles of The Washington Post writes: “A fantastic debut novel…. What is so enthralling about this novel is its syncopated riff of empathy as the perspective jumps around these participants—some peaceful, some violent, some determined, some incredulous…. Yapa creates a fluid sense of the riot as it washes over the city. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist ultimately does for WTO protests what Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night did for the 1967 March on the Pentagon, gathering that confrontation in competing visions of what happened and what it meant.”

The March 21 discussion is part of the slate of events for the Center for American Literary Studies (CALS)/Centre County Reads 2018 Community Read of Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist. (Information about additional events related to the Community Read can be found at http://cals.la.psu.edu/ and http://www.centrecountyreads.org/.)

The March 22 reading is part of the Mary E. Rolling Reading Series, a project of Penn State’s Creative Writing Program in English. It receives generous support from the College of the Liberal Arts, the Department of English, the Joseph L. Grucci Poetry Endowment, the Mary E. Rolling Lectureship in Creative Writing, and the University Libraries. (For more information on the reading series, visit: https://creativewriting.psu.edu/.)

Sunil Yapa Discussion and Reading, March 21 & 22

Yapa Events Poster

Author Mary Gaitskill to Read February 21st

  Mary Gaitskill, this year’s Fisher Family Writer-in-Residence, will read from her work on Wednesday, February 21, in Paterno Library’s Foster Auditorium at 7:30 pm.  Gaitskill is an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist. … [Continue reading]

Poet and Professor Shara McCallum to Offer Reading January 25

  Poet Shara McCallum will read as part of the Mary E. Rolling Reading Series in Paterno Library’s Foster Auditorium on Thursday, January 25, at 7:30 p.m. McCallum is the author of five collections of poetry: The Water Between Us (1999), … [Continue reading]

The Art of Protest: Writing and Art Contests

Author of the novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa will visit Penn State as part of the Mary Rolling Reading Series in March. In addition, the Center for American Literary Studies (CALS)/Centre County Reads has selected Yapa's … [Continue reading]

Tracy K. Smith, United States Poet Laureate, to Give Emily Dickinson Lecture

United States Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize Winner, and National Book Award finalist Tracy K. Smith will offer a reading at Penn State as this year’s Emily Dickinson Lecturer. The reading will be held at the Nittany Lion Inn on Thursday, October 19, … [Continue reading]

Successful Fundraising Campaign Establishes Creative Writing Award to Honor Retiring Penn State Professor

To honor Professor Robin Becker’s twenty-three years of service to Penn State University and her lasting impact on students, the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English last month launched a campaign to raise $23,000 to create a fund in … [Continue reading]

Penn State Welcomes Two New Poets to CW Program in Fall

At the end of the spring 2017 semester, we mark the retirement of two poets in the English Department: Professor Robin Becker and Senior Lecturer James Brasfield. On the heels of these longtime faculty  members' departures, we are happy to report … [Continue reading]

Graduating BA/MA Students Read from their Work

[Continue reading]

Graduates Andrews and Blake Collaborative Poetry Series

Two Penn State Creative Writing graduates, Kimberly Quiogue Andrews and Sarah Blake, recently appeared in the Missouri Review for their collaborative poem, "The Sea Witch Needs a Mortgage for the Land, If Not For the House of Bones." As part of a … [Continue reading]

Skip to toolbar