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Alumnus Returns to SA Writers’ Forum

Laurinburg, NC, February 25, 2009 --( Matthew Phelps, a former winner of the Alan Bunn Memorial Chapbook Award, will be the featured reader at the Fortner Writers’ Forum Thursday beginning at 8 p.m. in the Orange Main Lounge of St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

Raised in southwestern Connecticut, Phelps spent a year working as a historical re-enactor with the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site before entering St. Andrews in 2002. His time at St. Andrews included a semester in Brunnenburg, Italy studying at “The Ezra Pound Center for Literature” and the Bunn Memorial Chapbook award that resulted in the publication of The Music of What Happens.

After completing his B.F.A. in creative writing, Phelps moved to Homer, Alaska. He spent two years living in “a tool shed on my brother’s property, without electricity or running water.”

“I worked as an antler gatherer and apprenticed myself to a knife-maker,” he said. “I worked as a laborer building boardwalks in remote communities. I also worked in the firewood business, as a caretaker of horses and as a house mover.”

These experiences shaped his continued writing as he focused on “the people I met and the community in which I lived.”

An eye condition brought Phelps back to the east coast.

Now a professional bagpiper performing at weddings and funerals throughout New England, Phelps teaches two bands and about 15 private students while continuing to write.

“I now live in a 200 year old barn in Massachusetts, sharing living quarters with a donkey, goat, blind horse, two pigs, two llamas, chickens, six peacocks and a highland cow,” he said.

The Fortner Writers’ Forum is free and open to the public.

About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture to an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship have marked the distinctive character of St. Andrews. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews Online.

On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to

About The Learning House, Inc.
In early 2008, St. Andrews Presbyterian College initiated a partnership with The Learning House, Inc. to assist in the development and unveiling of its online campus. The Learning House is a comprehensive online education solutions partner that helps colleges and universities offer and manage their online education programs. The company provides a total online campus solution to each of its clients, including online course development and publishing, learning management system customization and hosting, online program marketing, 24/7 technology support, faculty and staff training, online education infrastructure and consulting. The Learning House provides online learning services to more than 60 accredited institutions of higher education. For more information about the company, please visit

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The Learning House, Inc.
Jan Hurst

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