BENNINGTON - Author Megan Mayhew Bergman will deliver a lecture, titled "Fiction as an Agent of Social Change," at Southern Vermont College on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Free and open to the public, the lecture will take place in the College's Everett Theatre at 2:10 p.m.

"Many - if not nearly all - novels present some form of social critique," according to Bergman, "though some works tackle social issues in more overt fashion."

In her lecture, Bergman will discuss the importance and risks of writing socially-conscious work. She will address questions about why authors take on social issues, how, and to what varying levels of success, and she will ask what aspiring writers might need to keep in mind for socially-conscious works. A reception and book signing will follow in the Burgdorff Gallery, where attendees may speak with Bergman who will also sign copies of her recently released book, Birds of a Lesser Paradise. This event is the second lecture in the College's 2012-2013 "Look Within, See Beyond: Stories of Empowerment and Change" Lecture Series.

A former member of SVC's composition faculty and Bennington College's literature faculty, Bergman's short stories have twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her stories have appeared in The New York Times, Best American Short Stories 2011, New Stories from the South 2010, Oxford American, Narrative, Ploughshares, One Story, and elsewhere.

Raised in Rocky Mount, N.C., Bergman now lives on a small farm in Shaftsbury. In 2007, Bergman received a fellowship from the Millay Colony for the Arts, and she has been a fiction scholar at Bread Loaf. After writing "Birds of a Lesser Paradise," Bergman said, "I wanted to explore modern motherhood, the pull of biology on our lives, and our relationship with animals. The stories take place in urban gardens, veterinary clinics, Southern diners, prison farms, swamps, and the coast of Maine. It's a book for animal lovers, people with a sense of humor, mothers and daughters."

Among the lectures in the series, take special note that, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea will deliver a lecture, titled "Poetry: Another Way of Knowing." For more information on Bergman's lecture, contact SVC's Office of Communications at 802-447-6388 or communications@svc.edu. To view future events at the College, go to www.svc.edu.