Dylan Scholar to Address Texas Writers’ Conference
Dr. David Gaines, a fan and an avid researcher of the life and works of Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan, will be the guest workshop leader and presenter during the 2017 Texas Writers’ Conference at Schreiner University on Tuesday, April 25.
Gaines, a professor of English at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, is the author of In Dylan Town: A Fan’s Life, published by the University of Iowa Press in 2015. He has also written articles about Dylan for several academic journals.
He will read from his book and speak starting at 7 p.m. in the River Room of the Cailloux Campus Activity Center. The event is free and open to the public. A 6:30 p.m. reception for Dr. Gaines will precede his presentation.
Earlier in the day, Gaines will speak with students in world literature and creative writing classes at Schreiner. The evening session will include presentations by three Schreiner students from those classes—Emily Triebs, editor of The Muse, Schreiner creative writing magazine; Samara Roberts; Alex Wheeler; and Christian Kocian. Samples of their work will also be on display.
Gaines speaks about Dylan at venues as varied as the Northeastern Modern Language Association in Boston; the Young Rhetoricians Conference in Monterey, Calif.; and the New School and 92nd Street Y in New York. He shares samples of Dylan’s writings from his songs or his books, and occasionally also plays a Dylan song.
Asked, “Why Dylan?” Gaines says, “He’s the writer I care about the most. He’s been the way into the best and longest-running conversations I have ever had.”
Dylan’s selection for the Nobel Prize for Literature was well-deserved, he says.
“I’m ecstatic that Dylan’s body of work has been so recognized. The Nobel committee has made the international literary tent a bit larger—and even more fun—and it is very moving to see Dylan under it with Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and William Faulkner. I am happy for him. And I am even happier for all of his fans around the world.”
“He has written more than 700 songs over 50 years. That’s a serious career,” Gaines adds.
Gaines has been interested in Dylan ever since he was a teenager growing up in Grand Prairie, Texas. “My father was a very political guy in the best civil rights kind of way, and I went to a summer camp where folk songs were the homilies. So when I first heard ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ and ‘The Times, They Are a Changin’’’ at age 12, I was already primed.”