David Musgrove, Will Bedford, and Mark Smith

November 16, 1999

The Fugitive Art Center presents David Musgrove, Will Belford and Mark Smith reading from recent works on Saturday, November 20, 1999, at 8:00 p.m.

David Musgrove is a native of Prattville, Alabama. He received his M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Alabama in October 1998. Musgrove is the author of THE BEAR HUNTER, a book length poem published by the Alabama Literary Review Press in 1996. Coleman Barks refers to Musgrove's work as “a complicated, ancient vision.” Others liken it to a four car pile-up. The following is an excerpt from David Musgrove's novel, BURNING BRIGHT.

The car was an old, white Ambassador. Very British, very colonial looking. The driver's name was Raj and he weaved the car through the snarled traffic in typical third world style, avoiding a horrendous crash by about six inches every three seconds. A yellow dog, death thin, stepped out in front of us as we pulled out onto one of the main boulevards. The Ambassador jolted over it without losing speed. I turned and looked out the rear window to see it sprawled on its back in the pot-holed street, one front paw held aloft as if it were waving goodbye to Dehli, or hello to death. As I watched, an autorickshaw, with GOD IS ONE painted above the windshield, bounced over the dying animal. I turned back around. Raj looked at me. - Dog, he said, smiling. - Yes, yellow one. Cigarette? I held out my pack. His eyes lit up. - Ahh, Marlboro Man. Thank you.

Will Belford hails from Savannah, Georgia. He received his B.A. in English from Sewanee in May, 1997. Belford is pursuing his M.F.A. in fiction at the University of Alabama. Folks describe Belford's writing as visceral, religious, and hormonally charged. The following is an excerpt from Strange Cargo, a chapter from his novel in progress.

Before the white Victorian facade of Cape Town's Mount Nelson Hotel, the Toyota taxi scuttles unnoticed. His khakis blood stiffened and gray, Brown reels past the concierge and hears the clock strike four. He straightens his rancid tie and careens to the verandah for high tea. Men in white flannels play croquet on the manicured green while dowagers age atop rattan chairs. The matre d' studies this besotted guest who bears a stained satchel. “Tea. For two,” Brown says. His breath may have burned this man who shows him to a wicker table, recessed in a corner, behind a column. Seated, Brown soaks in the glory days of empire. The gentlemen playing games block his view of the Indian Ocean. A waiter in a white coat sets a small tea service before Brown and quickly leaves. Brown pours two cups, two lumps in each. From his satchel he withdraws the headless chicken and sits her in the other chair. The hen does not take cream.

Mark Smith remains an enigma.