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News Releases @ TCC


 Writers as Evidence of Change

All free, public invited

Tim O’Brien
Joe Tennis
Stephen Katz
Yusef Komunyakaa

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (March 11, 2009) – Tidewater Community College announces its eighth annual Literary Festival – April 13-16 – featuring keynote speaker Tim O’Brien. Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the best American writer of his generation,” O’Brien won the National Book Award in fiction.

Writers as Evidence of Change, the theme of this year’s festival, reflects the work of visiting and resident authors, who will read, perform and sign books or CDs on TCC’s four campuses. The guest authors (by order of appearance) are Tim O’Brien, whose short story collection, The Things They Carried, was named by the New York Times as one of the 20 best books of the last quarter century and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; Joe Tennis, TCC alumnus, author of From Beach to Bluegrass and award-winning features writer for the Bristol Herald Courier; Stephen Katz, winner of the Photographer of the Year award and photographer for The Virginian Pilot; and Yusef Komunyakaa, professor and distinguished senior poet at New York University who debuts his first poetry-to-music CD this month.

TCC faculty will read from their works the second night of the festival. These published authors include Rachel Ankney, Nancy Jolemore, David Kiracofe, Bob Kunzinger, Sylvie Shapero, Doug Thiele, Tom Williams and John Williamson. (For TCC faculty authors' bios, click here.)

With an emphasis on offering community access to topical writings, the festival features acclaimed authors speaking on each of TCC’s campuses (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach) and faculty/student readings of their work. The Literary Festival also unveils the best-of-student writing in ChannelMarker, an annual publication.

TCC’s Literary Festival is free and open to the public; seating is first come, first served. For more information, contact TCC’s Information Center, 822-1122. For campus maps and driving directions, visit the web: and type in Campus Maps.


Monday, April 13 – Opening night:

7 p.m. 

Keynote address by Tim O’Brien - reception and book signing follow

TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center, 340 Granby St., Norfolk Campus

Tuesday, April 14


Reading and talk celebrating TCC’s published alumni: Joe Tennis - reception, book signing follow

Beazley Building, Waterfront Conference Room, room 520, Portsmouth Campus

1 p.m.

Workshop: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”- reception follows

Ed Jacob, TCC director of theatre arts, discusses the process of reinventing Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” from an epic poem into a play.

Pass Building, Studio Theatre, Chesapeake Campus

7 p.m.

Readings by TCC published faculty - reception and book signing follow

Readers include Rachel Ankney, Nancy Jolemore, David Kiracofe, Bob Kunzinger, Sylvie Shapero, Doug Thiele, Tom Williams and John Williamson.

TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, 340 Granby St., Norfolk Campus

Wednesday, April 15

12:30 p.m.

Readings by TCC faculty, staff and students - reception follows

Current faculty, staff and students at TCC take the floor to read their creative works at this open-mic event.

TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, room 4235, Norfolk Campus

7 p.m.

The Photography of Stephen Katz - reception follows

Winner of Newspaper Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International competition in 2008, Katz has photographed images in over 40 countries, including two war zones. He will talk about visual storytelling.

TCC Visual Arts Center, rooms 208-209, Olde Towne Portsmouth

Thursday, April 16

Campus Readings (2) by Yusef Komunyakaa - reception and book/CD signing follow

His childhood in Louisiana and a tour of duty in Vietnam greatly informs his writing career which began 40 years ago and has earned him such distinctions as winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for his book of poetry, Neon Vernacular.

12:30 p.m.

Pass Building, Studio Theatre, Chesapeake Campus

7 p.m.

Pungo Building Auditorium, Virginia Beach Campus


Laurie White
Media Relations

Celebrating its 40th year, Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - enrolls nearly 40,000 students and has the second largest undergraduate student body in Virginia. The 23rd highest producer of associate degrees in the nation, and the 35th largest community college, TCC is among the 20 fastest-growing large two-year institutions in the United States. 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 and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit