SNHU Names Visiting Writer for Creative Writing Program

Wednesday, March 01, 2006
SNHU Communications Office


Contact: Gregg Mazzola                                                                  
Director of Communications                                                                   
Southern New Hampshire University                                                    
(603) 629-4649                                                                                                          

SNHU Names Visiting Writer for Creative Writing Program

Manchester, N.H. (March 1, 2006) – Writer and essayist Howard Mansfield, whose books, according to one critic, nourish both the intellect and the heart has been named visiting writer to Southern New Hampshire University this spring. Mansfield’s visit is sponsored by SNHU’s Creative Writing Program.

Writing about place, history and memory, Mansfield has written five books and has contributed to The New York Times, American Heritage, The Washington Post, Historic Preservation, Yankee and other publications.

On Tuesday, March 14, Mansfield will teach a “master class” for specially invited SNHU undergraduate and graduate students interested in nonfiction writing. The public is invited to a reading and book signing from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., in the Last Chapter Pub, located in the Student Center.

For his latest book, “The Bones of the Earth,” Mansfield was a tourist of the near-at-hand, exploring the corner of New Hampshire that he has lived in for the last 20 years. Seeking out magnificent elms, he trespassed and, with the cover of a friend and photographer, loitered gathering the reactions of passersby. With an old trapper, he enjoyed long winter hikes, one of which ended in a tumble over a five-story icy bobcat ledge. And with an architect schooled in the workings of Las Vegas, he toured a commercial strip, trying to see it with fresh eyes. Other journeys took him back 10,000 years to the bottom of a glacial lake that is now a city, and to the deserted second and third floors of old mercantile buildings in towns and small cities.

Researching “The Same Ax, Twice” Mansfield immersed himself deeply in the search for restoration. He traveled with Civil War reenactors to help recreate the Battle of Antietam; he enrolled in auctioneer school to observe the endless recycling of artifacts, and he compared the process to the sterile preservation of these same objects in displays and museums; he toured 18th-century houses that have been variously restored to their “original” condition or stripped to their essence; he observed the ongoing work of preserving the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” a ship that has been replaced over the years board by board. ‘The Same Ax, Twice’ is filled with insight and eloquence,” said The New York Times Book Review. “A memorable, readable, brilliant book on an important subject. It is a book filled with quotable wisdom.”



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