Comma: Tracy Daugherty and Julian Smith
Tracy Daugherty was born and raised in Midland, Texas. He is the author of four novels, six short story collections, a book of personal essays, a collection of essays on literature and writing, as well as biographies of Donald Barthelme, Joseph Heller, and Joan Didion. His stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Paris Review online, McSweeney's, Boulevard, Chelsea, The Georgia Review, Triquarterly, The Southern Review, and many other journals. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, Artsmith, and the Vermont Studio Center. A member of the Texas Institute of Letter and PEN, he is a multiple winner of Oregon Book Awards. At Oregon State University, he helped found the Master's of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and is now Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing, Emeritus.
Julian Smith is an award-winning writer specializing in travel and science. His articles and photographs have appeared in Smithsonian, Wired, Outside, National Geographic Traveler, New Scientist, Discover, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and US News & World Report, among others. His book Crossing the Heart of Africa, about retracing the route of a love-struck British explorer across the continent, won awards from the Banff Mountain Festival Book Competition, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. With degrees in biology and wildlife ecology, Smith helped launch and edit Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, an international peer-reviewed scientific journal. He has written travel guidebooks to El Salvador, Ecuador, Virginia, the Four Corners, and Portland and has taught writing, editing, and literature at the Gotham Writers' Workshop and the College of Santa Fe.
Hosted and curated by writer Kirsten Rian, Comma readings combine voices from different literary genres, with writers having the freedom to read from new projects, established pieces, or ongoing works-in-progress. Authors read for 15 to 20 minutes each, and then engage in conversation with each other and the audience.