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Debut Novel Explores ‘The Gulf’ Between Believers And Non-Believers

a photo of Belle Boggs
Barbara Tyroler

What happens when an atheist poet decides to direct a school for Christian writers? That question begins Belle Boggs’ debut novel, “The Gulf” (Graywolf Press/2019).

Marianne is a struggling poet who is about to lose her Brooklyn apartment. When her ex-fiancé asks her to direct a low-residency writing school for Christians in Florida, it seems like a great way to pay back her student loans and get on her feet again — even though she is an atheist.

But as Marianne develops relationships with the students, she begins to have ethical questions about profiting off of them.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Boggs about her debut novel, for-profit education and the financing of art. Bogg is an associate professor in the department of English and director of the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at North Carolina State University.

She will be at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville on Tuesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. and at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh on Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m.

Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.