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October 7, 2004 - Lee Gutkind, the acclaimed godfather of the creative nonfiction genre - a combination of journalism and personal expression - will speak at Aquinas College as part of the Contemporary Writers series.

Gutkind - who is promoting his latest release, a memoir called Forever Fat: Essays by the Godfather, on his Godfather Tour - will speak to Aquinas on October 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wege Student Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

The founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction, Gutkind has performed as a clown for Ringling Brothers, scrubbed with heart and liver transplant surgeons, wandered the country on a motorcycle and experienced psychotherapy with a distressed family - all as research for eight books and numerous profiles and essays.

A former director of the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh and currently Professor of English, Gutkind has pioneered the teaching of creative nonfiction, conducting workshops and presenting readings throughout the United States. Also a novelist and filmmaker, Gutkind is editor of The Creative Nonfiction Reader (a series of anthologies) and the Emerging Writers in Creative Nonfiction book series from Duquesne University Press as well as director of the Mid-Atlantic Creative Nonfiction Writers' Conference at Goucher College in Baltimore.

Gutkind frequently crosses genres as a writer, editor and reporter. He is a published novelist, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and he recently served as a consulting editor at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. teaching narrative techniques to reporters, producers and editors on the Science Desk. He also works for NPR as a freelance reporter.

The Aquinas College Contemporary Writers Series was founded by a grant from Dr. Tony Foster '73 and Linda Nemec Foster '72. The series kicked off in 1997 by bringing well-known authors to Aquinas College for a public reading and a workshop with students.

Another writer, Diane Wakoski, will appear as part of the series on March 16.