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Released October 14, 2004


HATTIESBURG-Ken Foster, a doctoral student at The University of Southern Mississippi's nationally renowned Center for Writers, will be featured on Mississippi Public Radio and WLBT (NBC) to promote the release of the paperback edition of "Dog Culture: Writers on the Character of Canines." Foster, who edited the book and contributed one of the 12 essays on the culture of dogs, will also be signing copies of the book at two Mississippi events.

On Saturday, Oct. 23, at 11 a.m., Foster will be at Lemuria Books in Jackson. He will be joined by homeless dogs and the Friends of Jackson Animal Shelter.

On Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 7 p.m.-9 p.m., 206 Front will host a book party in Hattiesburg. Foster will sign books, with proceeds going to Pit Bull Rescue Central (, a virtual shelter and resource for owners and caretakers of American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and pit bull mixes.

"PBRC is a terrific resource for anyone working with rescued or abandoned animals," Foster said. In addition to caring for his own two dogs-both rescued from shelters-Foster has been tending to an abused pit bull since March. "I found her on St. Patrick's Day, with bites all over her face, in heat, infested with heartworms. She nearly lost one eye. But she's a sweetheart."

"Dog Culture," published by The Lyons Press, features 12 essays by contemporary authors, including Chuck Palahniuk ("Fight Club"), Chris Offutt ("Kentucky Straight"), Pearl Abraham ("The Romance Reader") and Nicholas Dawidoff ("The Catcher Was a Spy"). It has been featured in Dog World, Dog Fancy, The San Francisco Chronicle and other national publications.

Foster is the also the editor of "The KGB Bar Reader" and the author of a collection of stories, "The Kind I'm Likely to Get." His work has appeared in The New York Times, Village Voice, Salon, McSweeney's, The Believer and other publications. In addition to these Mississippi events, he has participated in "Dog Culture" fundraisers for the Louisiana SPCA, the New York City Mayor's Alliance for Animals, Extended Circle Animal Haven in Tallahassee, and others.

Foster moved to Hattiesburg in August 2004 to begin a three-year course of study toward the Ph.D. degree at the Center for Writers, the university's highly ranked program in creative writing directed by novelist and short story writer Frederick Barthelme. "Ken is a terrific addition to our program," Barthelme said. "He brings considerable publishing experience, and, as he's directed a wonderful reading series in New York some years ago, we've asked him to oversee our Visiting Writers Series, which is a substantial addition to our program this year."


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November 23, 2004 9:23 AM