Every year, in honor of long-time English professor S.A Yoder, the Goshen College English department welcomes a prominent literary figure to come speak to students and community members. This year, celebrated novelist and Indiana native Haven Kimmel will be speaking about her experiences as a writer. Haven will discuss her newest published work and hold a book signing following the lecture. The event will take place on Sunday, October 10th at 7 p.m. in Newcomer Center 19 and is free and open to the public.
Though her newest book, “Iodine,” embraces more suspenseful aspects. Kimmel’s novels tend to focus on rural family life with sociological and relational observations that she picked up from her childhood in small-town Indiana. Kimmel’s characterizations of the subtle nuances of life in Indiana influenced her memoirs, “A Girl Named Zippy,” and “She Got Up Off the Couch,” which became instant best-sellers. Kimmel also writes poetry and children's books.
“[Haven Kimmel] has such an impact on her readers,” said Beth Martin-Birkey, professor of English and Women’s studies. “She is a good blend of poignancy and humor in terms of describing the act of growing up."
Members of the English Department faculty believe that Kimmel’s work will relate to students whether they grew up in Indiana or not. Her appearance at Goshen College is meant to give students, staff, and the public a chance to reflect on their own relationships, faith, and contribution to the community.
To Martin-Birkey, Kimmel’s observance of the importance of community will connect her to students on a deeper, more value-based level.
“Goshen College is about relationships," said Martin-Birky. "We are who are as individuals as much as who we are together.”
In addition to the lecture on Sunday, students are invited to a more intimate gathering to interact with Kimmel on Monday, October 11th from 11:00-11:50 a.m. in Newcomer Center 19. A question-and-answer session will be held in addition to more informal time with Kimmel.
Ann Hostetler, professor of English, will be hosting a meet and greet session in her classroom for her expository writing class. She has heard Kimmel lecture on previous occasions.
“[Haven Kimmel] is a hilarious and fun writer and speaker,” said Hostetler. “She is a person with a strong heart of compassion and an out-of-the-box thinker.”
Sponsors of the event are expecting large attendance and recommend arriving early in order to obtain decent seating. Kimmel’s books will be available for purchase and an opportunity for signing is available following the Sunday evening lecture.