Hicks will read from his critically acclaimed collection of short stories at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 19, in Foundation Hall of the SAU Reynolds Center. The event is free and open to the public.
“The book is a collection of 27 modern fairy tales, fables, and other kinds of magical short stories. The stories are mostly southern and rural,” said Hicks.
Hicks said reading and writing has been a huge part of his life since he was a boy. He grew up on army bases as his father was in the military, but some of his fondest memories were from the summers spent in Spring Hill, La. He said he was always filling notebooks with stories.
His passion for writing is evident in the reviews of his first book.
“Micah Dean Hicks is to short story writing what director Tim Burton is to film making – a zany Aladdin from Arkansas, enamored of bizarre fables and misfit fantasies, his skill a-boil with magical thinking,” said Bob Shacochis, author and National Book Award winner.
Hicks, 2008 English SAU graduate, went on to get a master’s degree in creative writing from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011. He is now working on his Ph.D. at the creative writing program at Florida State University.
“I teach two classes a semester, literature or writing,” he said. “So my life consists of working on my own writing and talking to smart people about stories I love. I couldn’t be happier.”
Hicks also has fond memories about his the period of his life spent at SAU. He said he enjoyed all of the professors in the English department at SAU, but Dr. Shannin Schroeder and Dr. Linda Tucker were his favorites.
Schroeder was his first English teacher and remains a good friend. She introduced him to authors who still impact his work, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cristina Garcia and Aimee Bender.
Tucker also introduced him to great authors, but he says her classes made him a better student and person.
“She has this uncanny ability to make students confront a nd evaluate what they think is true, to compare that with contrasting viewpoints, to really wrestle with hard ideas and other perspectives,” he said about Tucker.
Hicks also enjoyed Dr. Ben Johnson’s Arkansas history class. He said it made him feel proud of where he came from and helped him own his identity as a southerner.
While at SAU, Hicks placed first in the fiction category of the University’s annual writing contest. He also earned the opportunity to read his original work at conferences through Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society). He worked in the SAU Writing Center and edited “Emergence,” a publication of literary works by SAU students.