David Anthony Durham - Eccles Visiting Scholar - Author of Acacia Fantasy Trilogy

David Anthony Durham

February 17, 2022
The Great Hall

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Eccles Visiting Scholar George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation
SUU and A.P.E.X. Events is most grateful for the support from The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation which made this event possible.

David Durham is an author of many genres, from fact to fiction. He has also been a screenwriter and consultant on several TV shows. Durham has won the Astounding Award for Best New Writer of Science Fiction, a Legacy Award from the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, and was a Finalist for the Prix Imaginales in France. David has twice had his books named New York Times Notable Books of the year.

He is the author of a trilogy of fantasy novels set in Acacia: The Sacred Band, The Other Lands, and The War with The Mein. He has also written historical novels, including The Risen, Pride of Carthage,Walk Through Darkness, and Gabriel’s Story.

Durham is currently on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA Program of the University of Southern Maine and the MFA program of the University of Nevada, Reno.

We would like to thank Utah Humanities Center for the Book for their generous support of this event. The Center for the Book fosters a community of authors and readers, and allows us to explore the world and contemporary issues through literature. 


Author David Anthony Durham was this week’s SUU’s APEX lecturer on Thursday, February 17. Durham was this year’s Eccles Visiting Scholar.

Christopher Clark, an SUU librarian, introduced Durham and joined him along with Lynn Vartan to lead a Q and A discussion about writing and his novels.

After getting the “joys of rejection” Durham finally got his novels published. This led to him winning the Astounding Award for Best New Writer of Science Fiction and a Legacy Award from the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation.  

When creating an original world, Durham explained, “it always felt important to me that if I am making an imagined world, it needs to feel to me as it feels to readers — grounded, real.”

While going through his writing process, Durham declared, “first I want it to make sense to me, but that’s part of making it make sense to readers as well.”

Explaining the story of how he became a writer, Durham said, “I used to get stories in my head about one thing or another, it would live there for a little while, then fade away. I’d move on and there’d be a different story that would take over. It was an important step when asked that instead of letting those appear and fade away, how about I put them down on a page and see what I can make of them? See if they can be things that don’t fade away.”

Durham’s new book, Shadow Prince, is a middle grade book. Durham said “it is a genre with enough fun storytelling in it, that it appeals to older readers as well.”

After having a trilogy for his Acacia series, Durham explained that “the thing with fantasy is that once you have gotten into it and developed this world, it’s really hard to not want to continue and see where this world goes after.”

Leaving the students in the audience with some hope, Durham stated, “college planted all the seeds for the creative person I became.”


Audio Transcript