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AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR, PETER BEHRENS, TO SPEAK AT UMFK "The Law of Dreams" author to highlight first Presidential Lecture

January 20, 2010


Peter Behrens, an award-winning author and teacher of fiction writing, will appear at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Thursday, March 18 as the first UMFK Presidential Lecture Series speaker.

Behrens is a novelist, essayist, and screen writer. His first novel, The Law of Dreams, is widely acclaimed, and was awarded Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction in 2006. The book also was nominated for the International Impac Literature Prize.
The annual Presidential Lecture Series at UMFK is being launched to provide a platform for intellectual discourse among campus community participants, as part of UMFK’s Strategic Plan for Excellence. The Series, which will foster an environment of academic inquiry and excellence, will bring to campus a variety of renowned scholars, speakers, authors, and poets. 
Behrens’ appearance at UMFK will include an evening presentation on The Law of Dreams before an audience of students, faculty, staff, and community members. The presentation will be delivered in the Nadeau Hall teleconference room at 7 p.m.
Potato Chips: Prose and Poetry of the Potato  
In honor of Behrens’ visit to the campus, UMFK will sponsor a writing contest during the spring 2010 semester entitled, Potato Chips: Prose and Poetry of the Potato. The contest is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community. Essays or poems, consisting of 500 words or less, on anything having to do with the potato, will be accepted for submission. Entries may be written in either English or French. Submissions will be judged by a panel with five winners being chosen. The winners will be invited to breakfast with Behrens on Friday, March 19.
Typed entries should include contact information (e-mail and telephone number) and must be submitted no later than 12 noon on Monday, February 22 to Nicki Ouellette c/o UMFK, IT Offices/Acadian Archives Building, 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, ME 04743, or by email at:
Copies of Behrens’ The Law of Dreams have been distributed free of charge to members of the UMFK community. Lunchtime brown bag discussions will meet during January and February. The first discussion, scheduled for Thursday, January 28, will meet during the noon hour in the Nowland Hall faculty dining room.
Behrens has published a collection of short stories, Night Driving (1987), and written four feature screenplays. His short stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Night, and The National Post; his fiction is anthologized in Best Canadian Stories, his non-fiction in Best Canadian Essays.
He also has taught fiction writing at the week-long annual Stonecoast Writers’ Conference hosted by University of Southern Maine.  He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University in California.
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Behrens resides in Brooklin, Maine.
His appearance at UMFK is sponsored by a grant through the Libra Professorship funds.