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Leading authority on Hemingway speaking at Misericordia
03-18-14

H.R. Stoneback will speak on campus on April 14.
H.R. Stoneback will speak on campus on April 14.

H.R. Stoneback, a world-renowned author, musician and poet who is considered the world’s leading authority on Ernest Hemingway, will hold master classes with students and offer poetry readings for the public during a visit to Misericordia University on Monday, April 14. The events are open free to the public.

In tribute to his stature as a top academic scholar on Literary Modernism, Dr. Stoneback was appointed recently as president of the 1,000-member Ernest Hemingway Society and Foundation. The Philadelphia, Pa., native is the author of more than 200 essays on authors, including Hemingway, William Faulkner, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Robert Penn Warren and numerous other 21st century poets and writers. He has published, as author or editor, more than 30 books, roughly half literary criticism and half books of his poetry. His book, “Reading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises,” is the inaugural volume in the Kent State University Press’ “Reading Hemingway Series.” It has been nominated for several prestigious awards and is widely used in university courses.
 
The day’s events will begin at 1:30 p.m. with presentations by Misericordia students on the poetry of H.R. Stoneback with commentary by the author himself in Room 226, Anderson Sports and Health Center by the North Gate of campus.
 
Dr. Stoneback will lead the master class, “Religion and Literature: Through a Class, Darkly?,” beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the University Chapel, first floor, Mercy Hall.
 
In addition, Dr. Stoneback will offer a poetry reading at 5:30 p.m. in the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery, Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall.
 
The program is being coordinated by Matthew Nickel, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at Misericordia. Dr. Nickel’s recently released book, “Hemingway’s Dark Night: Catholic Influences and Intertextualities in the Work of Ernest Hemingway,” includes a forward written by Dr. Stoneback.
 
Dr. “Stoney” Stoneback was raised in Philadelphia and later lived in Camden, N.J. At a young age, Stoneback traveled around Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and eventually the entire country, playing his guitar and telling stories. While he worked as a farmer, lumberjack, and truck-driver, he frequently wrote songs and poems. He performed with numerous musicians, including a session with Bob Dylan at Gerde’s Folk City, a legendary musical venue in New York City’s Greenwich Village, and hitchhiked with singers, including Jerry Jeff Walker. Walker later wrote a song about Stoneback – his second most requested song after Mr. Bojangles – titled “Stoney.” After getting kicked out of college twice and serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Dr. Stoneback settled into the nightlife of New Orleans, La., in the early 1960s playing on Bourbon Street. He eventually enrolled at Rutgers University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English. He also holds a master’s in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.
 
Dr. Stoneback has taught since 1969 at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he is a distinguished professor of English. He has lectured as a senior Fulbright Professor at Peking University and as a visiting professor at the University of Paris, and has also served as director of the American Center for Students and Artists in Paris.
 
His award-winning poetry has been published in cycle of journals in the U.S. and abroad. Recent volumes of poetry include, “Why Athletes Prefer Cheerleaders & Other Poems,” “Voices of Women Singing,” and “Amazing-Grace-Wheelchair-Jumpshot-Jesus-Love-Poems.” Forthcoming books include three volumes of poetry, “The Stones of Strasbourg,” “My Boardwalk Empire,” and a cycle of “Pennsylvania Poems.”
 
Dr. Stoneback continues to sing and has produced several albums with his late-wife Sparrow. He is currently working on a collection of their songs, “The Stoney and Sparrow Songbook.”