Hunter Lecture to Feature Children's Author Carmen Deedy

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Drawing on her upbringing steeped in both Latin American and Southern culture, Carmen Agra Deedy has become an award-winning storyteller and bestselling children’s author.

Noted for a razor-sharp wit and light, entertaining style, she will deliver CSU’s 2007 Hunter Lecture, titled “An Afternoon of Storytelling,” at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10 in Fine Arts Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Havana in 1960, Deedy and her family fled the Cuban Revolution to the United States and settled in Decatur, Ga., in 1963. Her storytelling reflects her family’s subsequent acclimation to cultural differences while successfully rebuilding their lives.

As a professional storyteller, Deedy has shared her stories with hundreds of thousands of children and adults nationwide at festivals, schools, conferences, theaters and museums. Her stories also have aired on National Public Radio’s “Weekend All Things Considered.”

Her recent book, “The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark” earned awards worldwide. Among earlier works, “Growing Up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia” was a 1996 Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner and was named Best Audiobook-Storytelling by Publishers Weekly in 1995. Her next children’s book, “Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale,” is set for publication this fall.

Deedy’s reputation made her a popular choice to lead this year’s Hunter Lecture Series, said Jim Brewbaker, CSU professor of English education and teacher education.

“Teachers and undergraduate teachers under construction are consistently interested in new books for young people,” he said.

Brewbaker, who chairs the 2007 Hunter Lecture Committee, said committee members who have heard Deedy in the past believe she uses storytelling to capture her audiences regardless of their age, gender or other traits. “That’s a pretty rare talent in my view,” he said. While Deedy’s abilities bring together a melting pot of listeners, “she may have some special appeal to Latino and Hispanic individuals, and it pleases us to reach out to that segment of our student population,” Brewbaker said.

On the morning of the lecture, Deedy will meet with CSU students and faculty, from 9:30-10:45 a.m. in the Davidson Student Center auditorium to discuss to her background and craft, and provide insight on “the power of storytelling in the classroom.”

After the main lecture, Deedy will autograph copies of her books purchased beforehand. Locally, proceeds from sales of Deedy’s books through Barnes & Noble Booksellers are supporting Chispa, CSU’s organization for Hispanic and Latino students.

Also prior to, and in conjunction with, Deedy’s appearance, CSU Libraries will host a “My Favorite Children’s Book Read-Out,” from noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5 on the Schwob Library main floor. The public is invited to this free program as CSU faculty and students will read from books such as “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The House at Pooh Corner.” For more information on this program, call CSU Libraries at 706-568-2042.

The Hunter Lecture Series is made possible by a gift from Madge Hunter, in memory of her late husband, James W. Hunter. For more information, go to http://www.colstate.edu/hunterlecture.