Redefining the Classroom

Author Neil OBoyle Connelly to speak at LSSU on Oct 4

Posted: October 1st, 2013

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -- Neil O’Boyle Connelly, author of four highly acclaimed novels, will be the next guest in Lake Superior State University’s Visiting Writer Series when he presents a reading and master class on Friday, Oct. 4, here.

The public is welcome for the reading and reception, which will be held from 7-9 p.m. in the Walker Cisler Center’s Crow’s Nest. The special master class will be held at 2 p.m. on the same day in the LSSU Arts Center, room 215. The class is free and open to all aspiring writers. Registration is recommended via e-mail to Prof. Janice Repka,

Connelly is the author of two young adult novels that examine the power of faith and the human desire for a savior: Saint Michael's Scales, which was a finalist for the 2002 Borders Original Voices series, and The Miracle Stealer, which received a starred review from Booklist. He is also the author of the literary novels Buddy Cooper Finds a Way, which Entertainment Weekly called “both comic and chilling,” and The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible, which was released this fall by Louisiana State University Press.

Neil O'Boyle Connelly

According to Yellow Shoe Fiction, in The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible, “Once the mighty superhero Commander Invincible, 39-year-old Vincent Shepherd now faces new enemies: downsizing, a second divorce, and the strains of fatherhood. Decades ago, Vince made a living fighting supervillains, huge irradiated insects, and androids armed with death rays. But when the good guys won the war, heroes like Vince grew obsolete. Certain that his younger wife is starting to find their marriage as frivolous as his old cape, Vince embarks on a scheme to reestablish himself not only as a superhero, but as a super dad and a super husband. Confronting former allies with long-buried secrets, he must also battle the same demons we all encounter: doubt, regret, loss, and failure. The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible turns a literary lens onto the world of comic book fantasy to reveal the changes and challenges of simply being human.”

Connelly earned a master of fine arts in creative writing at McNeese State University, where he studied under Pulitzer Prize-recipient Robert Olen Butler. His short story "The Adventures of Ultimate Man," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2006, Oxford American included him in a list of prominent novelists of the Southern United States. Having since returned to his Pennsylvania roots, Connelly is now an assistant professor of English at Shippensburg University.

Connelly’s visit to LSSU is part of LSSU’s literary initiative, “Continuing a Literary Dialogue in the Easter Upper Peninsula,” which has been made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. His appearance is organized and sponsored by the LSSU Visiting Writer Series.

The LSSU English Dept. created the new series to bring highly acclaimed literary authors and poets to campus to raise awareness of LSSU’s expanding Creative Writing Program and bring together the community and college in a shared literary experience. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear writers read their work, answer questions about their writing process, and sign books.

LSSU offers both an undergraduate major and minor concentration in creative writing. An intimate program with enthusiastic faculty, the creative writing program encourages innovation and experimentation as students develop their voices. Students complete coursework in prose, poetry, and performance writing, and are given opportunities to get publishing experience before graduation. Learn more on the program's website. -LSSU-

CONTACT: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315,; John Shibley, 635-2314,; Prof. Janice Repka, 635-2448,