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Award-winning author and Ferris State University professor continues to earn national acclaim with new book forthcoming

When Ferris State University professor Deirdre Fagan walks into a classroom, she wears all her many hats: widow, wife, mother of two, professor — and award-winning author.

And for that, her students are grateful.

“I believe I’m able to continue growing as an educator because I am out in the field of creative writing every day while also maintaining my foot in the classroom,” said Fagan, who publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and scholarship and has taught at Ferris State since 2015.

“Find a Place for Me: Embracing Love and Life in the Face of Death” is her most recent award-winning book. Published in 2022, the memoir explores how she and her 43-year-old husband, Bob, traversed their remaining months as a couple with two young children after he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“Find a Place for Me” recently earned the 2023 Readers’ Favorite Grief & Hardship Gold Medal and top honors in the Death and Dying category in the 17th annual National Indie Excellence Awards, among many others. It was also featured on Disney/ABC's “Tamron Hall Show” and several other media outlets.

Other works include “The Grief Eater,” “Have Love” and “Critical Companion to Robert Frost.” Her work has also appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies.

Her latest book, “Phantom Limbs,” is a poetry collection that publishes in late September. Described as part celebration, part elegy, it’s about living fully despite — or perhaps even because of — repeated loss. The collection reveals intimate moments from childhood trauma to marriage, divorce, parenting, terminal illness, disability, caregiving, widowhood, remarriage, and mortality itself.

Fagan is a native New Yorker who holds a doctorate in humanistic studies (English and philosophy) and a master’s in English from the State University of New York at Albany and a bachelor’s in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

She taught college writing and literature courses for nearly two decades in New York, Maryland, Florida, and Illinois. After losing her husband, she moved to Michigan eight years ago to join the faculty at Ferris. In addition to her role here as a creative writing professor, she is coordinator for the Literature in Person Reading Series, which brings national and regional authors to the university.

It’s at Ferris State that her creative writing career blossomed.

Fagan has been eager to share her writing and publishing expertise with students. She’s piloting a new 300-level creative writing course in Genre Studies that focuses on a single writing genre each term.

“The idea is to allow students, after they have had an introduction to creative writing, to advance their knowledge of a single genre, as well as to more fully develop over several semesters their understanding of the various genres,” she said. This semester, the genre is fiction.

The university has made great strides, Fagan said, toward increasing creative writing offerings — and she’s happy to continue helping in whatever way she can.

“Working on the craft of creative writing develops not only one’s written and oral communication skills, but the creative and critical thinking that invigorates one’s career and personal life,” she said.

For more information on Deirdre Fagan’s publications, visit deirdrefagan.com.

Weather

Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Baseball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

White Cloud 9 @ Holton 5

White Cloud 0 @ Merrill 13 (6inn)

Clare 16 @ Chip Hills 7 (4inn)

Greenville 9 @ Chip Hills 9 (8inn)

Kent City 1 @ Whitehall 16 (4inn)

Fremont 3 @ Kent City 0

 

MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 3 @ Big Rapids 9

Shepherd 12 @ Big Rapids 0 (5inn)

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 1

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 2

 

TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills 7 @ Tri County 3

Chip Hills 3 @ Tri County 2 (5inn)

Lakeview 2 @ Morley Stanwood 8

Lakeview 5 @ Morley Stanwood 11

Kent City 5 @ Newaygo 10

Kent City 4 @ Newaygo 11

Grant 1 @ Reed City 2

Grant 7 @ Reed City 5

C Montcalm 13 @ White Cloud 2

C Montcalm 2 @ White Cloud 6

 

THURSDAY 4/18/24

Shelby @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview

 

FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills

 

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CSAA Softball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

Grant 0 @ Ravenna 15 (3inn)

Tri County 0 @ Ravenna 10 (CH Forfeit)

Chip Hills 0 @ Clare 16

Chip Hills 0 @ Vestaburg 12

MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 2 @ Big Rapids 12 (5inn)

Shepherd 9 @ Big Rapids 6 (8inn)

Newaygo 15 @ C Montcalm 11

Newaygo 1 @ C Montcalm 14 (5inn)

Lakeview 1 @ Vestaburg 16 (4inn)

Lakeivew 4 @ Vestaburg 10 (8inn)

TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills @ Tri County

Lakeview @ Morley Stanwood

Kent City 1 @ Newaygo 4

Kent City 0 @ Newaygo 11 (5inn)

Grant 1 @ Reed City 5

Grant 1 @ Reed City 16 (3inn)

C Montcalm @ White Cloud

THURSDAY 4/18/24

Greenville @ C Montcalm

Sparta @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview

FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills

SATURDAY 4/20/24

Lakeview @Beaverton Tournament

Big Rapids @ TC West

CSAA Baseball Standings

1) Big Rapids: 2-0 | +31 -6 (+25)

2) Morley Stanwood: 2-1 | +24 -17 (+7)

3) Chippewa Hills: 2-1 | +22 -14 (+8)

4) Reed City: 2-1 | +17 -11 (+6)

5) Newaygo: 3-3 | +30 -24 (+6)

6) Central Montcalm: 3-3 | +22 -21 (+1)

7) Kent City: 2-2 | +32 -37 (-5)

8) Grant: 2-2 | +18 -12 (+6)

9) White Cloud: 1-1 | +8 -15 (-7)

10) Tri County: 0-3 | +11 -41 (-30)

11) Lakeview: 0-4 | +23 -41 (-18)

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