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Memoir is the focus; all free; public invited

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (Feb. 25, 2013) – Tidewater Community College’s 12th annual literary festival focuses on the memoir and features five renowned authors, including keynote speaker Anchee Min.

The free, public festival launches April 1 at 7 p.m. with Min’s talk at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center in downtown Norfolk.

Min’s best-selling memoir, “Red Azalea,” detailing the story of her childhood in communist China, has been compared to “The Diary of Anne Frank.” She has written six works of historical fiction since, and her new book continues the story where “Red Azalea” left off. “The Cooked Seed: A Memoir” is scheduled for a May release.

Additional authors are noted below in order of appearance.

Gwen Cooper spent 10 years working in nonprofit administration, marketing and fundraising prior to writing “Diary of a South Beach Party Girl” in 2007. She has since written “Homer’s Odyssey,” a memoir for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a pet, and “Love Saves the Day,” a novel narrated by a brown tabby named Prudence.

Old Dominion University alumna Remica Bingham-Risher, today the director of writing and faculty development at ODU, has published two works of poetry, including the recent “What We Ask of Flesh.” The book, she says, “grapples with violence (physical and psychological), spirit and flesh, its desecration and resilience.”

Tim Seibles, a member of ODU’s English faculty, is the author of numerous poetry collections, including “Hurdy-Gurdy,” “Hammerlock” and “Buffalo Head Solos.” His most recent release, “Fast Animal,” was one of five finalists for the 2012 National Book Award. Seibles has served as a workshop leader for Cave Canem, a writer’s retreat for African-American poets and for the Hurston/Wright Foundation, dedicated to developing African-American writers.

Former Washington Redskin Wade Davis is a writer and activist who shares his experiences as a gay professional athlete. Davis is also the assistant director of job readiness/career exploration at Hetrick Martin Institute, a nonprofit for LGBTQ youth. His most recent book, “Interference,” chronicles his adolescence, his “coming out” and beyond, focusing on his relationship with his mother, playing in the NFL and working with the Obama campaign.

Anchee Min

Gwen Cooper

Remica Bingham-Risher

Tim Seibles

Wade Davis


For more information, call (757) 822-1122; maps and directions.

April 1

Keynote address by Anchee Min, 7 p.m.
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, Norfolk

April 2

Gwen Cooper, 12:30 p.m.
Pungo Auditorium, Pungo Building, Virginia Beach Campus

Remica Bingham-Risher, 7 p.m.
The Forum, Building A, Portsmouth Campus

Faculty/student/staff readings
12:30 p.m., The Forum, Portsmouth Campus

April 3

Tim Seibles, 12:30 p.m.
Studio Theatre, Chesapeake Campus

Faculty/student/staff readings
7 p.m., Chesapeake Campus Theatre, Chesapeake Campus

April 4

Wade Davis, 7 p.m.
Norfolk Student Center, fifth floor, Norfolk Campus

Faculty/student/staff readings
12:30 p.m., Room B100, Virginia Beach Campus
12:30 p.m., Fifth floor, Norfolk Student Center


Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - served more than 46,000 students in 2010-11. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling and simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System. The college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Regional Health Professions Center and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach, as well as the Regional Workforce Solutions Center in Suffolk. Forty-five percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit