News and Music Discovery
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
We’re having some technical issues with WKMD 90.9 FM in Madisonville. The signal is currently at low power and we’re working to get back up fully. Thanks for your patience.

[Audio] Award-Winning Author Lorraine Lopez Reads in MFA Series

Murray State MFA Program

Lorraine López is the author of six books of fiction and has served as editor or co-editor of three essay collections, including The Afro-Hispanic Review. Her collection Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize in Fiction in 2010. She reads Tuesday night at Murray State University as part of the MFA Reading Series. On Sounds Good, Tracy Ross speaks with López about fairy tales, approach to writing, teaching other writers and her new book The Darling.

Lorraine López gives a reading tomorrow night at 7:30 in the Clara M. Eagle Gallery located on the campus of Murray State University. The free event is part of the MFA Reading Series and is open to the public. A signing and reception follows the reading.

Having taught in the MFA program, López says she is looking forward to coming back to Murray State. She is Associate Professor of English in the MFA Creative Writing program at Vanderbilt University.

Early in life, López developed a love for reading and writing from fairy tales and folk tales. She says she loved the experience of feeling transported to an imaginary world. Growing up with a love for Louisa May Alcott and Judy Blume, she wanted to write in the young adult genre. Once a middle school teacher, she found there were no novels her ESL students could really relate to, with characters that were like them, and was determined to write for them.

Since then, she has published several books, ranging in style and audience. Her favorites change from time to time, she says, feeling most connected now to Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories. The connecting thread of this work is the story of people who gather together after losing loved onces from homicide, trying to put their lives back together after a tragic loss.

When it comes to writing, López says she's more interested in the arc and shape of the story and doesn't always know the ending. She likens the approach to an architect knowing they're building a bank but not a church. Stories can be triggered by image or a phrase and is worked out in her mind through the writing process. As a teacher of writing, she likes to show students shortcuts and things they need to master to get them where they need to be.

As an associate editor for The Afro-Hispanic Review, she comes across many exciting Hispanic and Latino writers who tend to be different than the mainstream writers. Some of her stand-outs are experimental writer Daniel Chacón, prose stylist Joy Castro, Sandra Cisneros and Judith Ortiz Cofer.

At the MFA Reading, she'll read from her new novel, The Darling. It's a fun book with moments of humor, she says. The main character is enamored by white male classic authors like Henry James, D.H. Lawrence, Vladimir Nabokov, Gustave Flaubert and William Shakespeare. She falls in love with these writers and they begin to have an influence on her own love life and decisions. On one hand, this prevents her from settling for things that don't match the literary ideals of love and on the other hand she's granting these men authority to tell her how to live - as though they are experts on how a young woman should love instead of deciding for herself how to do things. López says she's fascinated by the idea of these male authors cross-dressing and articulating through a female perspective in their work, from Lolita to Madame Bovary.

More about the MFA Visiting Writer Series

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
Related Content