Frostburg State University's Center for Creative Writing is pleased to announce its first visiting writer for the fall semester. Frostburg alumnus and Garrett County resident Roger Alan Skipper, the author of Tear Down the Mountain: An Appalachian Love Story, will give a reading on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cordts PE Center Leake Room.
Born in the Appalachian mountains of Western Maryland, Skipper received a public school vocational education, then served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era. A career in the construction/building supply industry progressed from menial jobs to a top-level management position in a multi-store retail outlet.
“Roger was one of the most gifted students I've ever taught, and I am not the least bit surprised to know that he has gone on to do so well. Tear Down the Mountain is a terrific novel, and we are all really proud of him,” said Brad Barkley, author of Alison’s Automotive Repair Manual and professor of creative writing at FSU.
Dr. Gerald Snelson, a professor of literature in the English department and former teacher of Skipper’s, said “Roger’s new book, though only about 200 pages long, is as big in scope as the hills to the west of us and as majestic as the sky above them. His book is about the passing of a generation, my generation, in a piece of American historical time, my time, now quickly disappearing.”
In 1999, at the age of 47 and shortly after paying his youngest son's final college tuition bill, Skipper resigned his position to pursue companion lifetime goals: his own college education and a career as a novelist. The award of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship following his graduation from FSU propelled him to a graduate degree in writing. Skipper lives near his birthplace in the mountains, where he writes, hunts wild ginseng, picks the banjo and builds musical instruments.
Skipper’s reading is free and open to the public. A book signing and reception will follow. For more information, please call the Department of English at (301) 687-4221 or the FSU Center for Creative Writing at (301) 687-4024. You can also visit the FSU Center for Creative Writing’s Web site: www.frostburg.edu/cwcenter/readings.htm.
FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.