‘Dead Poets’ inspiration to headline lecture series

THIBODAUX – The Fletcher Lecture Series at Nicholls State University will celebrate its 25th anniversary Thursday, March 12, with guest lecturer Sam Pickering – author, essayist and professor of English at the University of Connecticut.

Originally the inspiration for Robin Williams’s character in Dead Poets Society, Pickering will deliver a presentation titled “Seeing Things” at 6 p.m. in Peltier Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception for the author will begin at 5:30.

Pickering is a 30-year veteran of the University of Connecticut and has written for the Sewanee Review since 1972. He has published 21 books, including academic studies, travel books and collections of essays. He also held Fulbright lectureships in Jordan in 1975-1976 and in Syria in 1980-1981.

“Life has always seemed unendingly rich with stories,” Pickering said. “Or at least, I find myself unaccountably in story after story day after day. Perhaps this is because words are the roots, trunk, branches, buds, blooms, and leaves of my world.”

His most recent books are Edinburgh Days, an account of months spent in Scotland, and Autumn Spring, a collection of essays. Pickering is now working on A Tramp’s Wallet, an account of months spent wandering in Australia and New Zealand.

The Fletcher Lecture Series, named after former Nicholls department head Marie

Fletcher, brings outstanding scholars and writers to Nicholls each year. Past presenters include Robert Penn Warren, Ernest Gaines, Maxine Hong Kingston and Henry Louis Gates.

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