Author Beth Lordan will be the keynote speaker for the English Graduate Students Conference and will present a reading Thursday/today at Southeast Missouri State University. Michael Martone, who was originally scheduled for the event, is ill and unable to speak. Her reading is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom A, and is free and open to the public. Lordan is the author of the novel “August Heat,” the short-story collection “And Both Shall Row” and the novel-in-stories “But Come Ye Back.” Her stories have been widely published, in “The Best of American Short Stories,” “The Atlantic Monthly,” “New England Review,” NPR’s selected shorts, and many others. She is the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as an O. Henry Award for her short fiction. Since 1991, she has taught fiction writing at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.