Dr. Barbara Hurd, Frostburg State University English professor and author, will offer a reading from her critically acclaimed new book, "Entering the Stone: On Caves and Feeling Through the Dark" on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Atkinson Room, Lane University Center 201.
Hurd's reading will be the third in her series of University System of Maryland Wilson H. Elkins lectures, a requirement of the professorship she has been awarded two years running. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, and Hurd will sign books following the reading.
"Entering the Stone" is not a scientific text, although it contains plenty of well-researched science, nor is it a how-to book on caving, even though Hurd passes on much of the knowledge she gained from the experienced cavers who were her guides.
Like her previous book of essays, "Stirring the Mud: On Swamps, Bogs and Human Imagination," Hurd uses her experiences and knowledge of real caves as the starting point for her literary explorations. "Call it an 'imaginative adventure' about both the cave and my responses to the cave," Hurd says.
The New York Times writes, "She brings a fresh eye and gentle persistence to ... tricky realms of existence. ... Reading 'Entering the Stone' is not unlike exploring a cave system. The layout may be unclear. Some quarters may be confined. But then, unexpectedly, a seemingly unconnected chamber will converge with other passages and you find yourself in an expansive space and feel you've encountered something enlightening."
"Hurd writes the kind of lushly mysterious prose that we feel in our bones," writes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And The (Baltimore) Sun says "'Entering the Stone' is the first book in years that, finished, left me of a mind to start it all over again."
Among Hurd's many honors are a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, the Bright Hill Press Poetry Prize and the Towson University Prize for Literature. "Stirring the Mud" was chosen one of the Best Books of 2001 by the Los Angeles Times.
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