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Posts Tagged ‘spotlight series’

Poet Michael Jennings to Read from His Works as Part of Keuka College’s Spotlight Series

Keuka College’s Spotlight Series will continue Tuesday, April 7 with a poetry reading by Michael Jennings.

The reading, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

Jennings is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently River Time and Bone-Songs and Sanctuaries: New and Selected Poems.

Born in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Jennings grew up in east Texas and the deserts of Iran. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and was a Fellow in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. He is also an internationally recognized breeder and judge of Siberian Huskies and the author of three books on the breed that are recognized as definitive.

Jennings began writing poems as a way to recapture the Iranian landscape of his childhood and early youth, resulting in a chronicle of a soul’s interaction with the spirits of place, what he calls inner and outer weather.

“My poems are ritual soundings, in the ancient oral tradition, for the bones and colors of experience, which is to say, they are written to be heard—sound paintings, sounded-out stories, and sometimes songs,” said Jennings.

At age 19, Jennings visited the Picasso Retrospective in Paris and was intrigued by his different periods displayed in different rooms. Jennings believes various sections of Bone-Songs and Sanctuaries, are roughly equivalent to different “rooms,” not necessarily chronological but psychically ordered into a kind of plot or journey.

Said Jennings: “I have recorded this rather long work in large part because I believe that the sound in the air is essential to the authentic form of a poem, the ‘body’ that is breath and timing and the movement of the tongue.”

Poet Melissa Balmain to Read from Her Works as part of Keuka College’s Spotlight Series

Keuka College’s Spotlight Series will continue Thursday, Nov. 6 with a poetry reading by Melissa Balmain.

The reading, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

Balmain, an adjunct instructor of English at the University of Rochester, earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. A humorist and journalist, Balmain recently became editor of Light, the country’s oldest journal of light verse, which she helped revive and bring online after 20 years in print. Her subjects have ranged from popular culture to parenthood to cattle ranchers to collies that surf.

Her first full-length poetry collection, Walking in on People, is the winner of the 2013 Able Muse Book Award. Her collection was selected by final judge X.J. Kennedy, who has also been part of the College’s Spotlight Series.

In Walking in on People, the serious is lightened with a generous serving of wit and humor, and the lighthearted is enriched with abundant wisdom. Subjects range from the current and hip (Facebook posts, online dating, layoffs, retail therapy, cell-phone apps, trans fat), to the traditional and time-tested (marriage, child-rearing, love, death), and includes such forms as the villanelle, ballad, triolet, nonce, and the sonnet.

Balmain’s poems have been published in such anthologies as The Iron Book of New Humorous Verse and Killer Verse, and in American Arts Quarterly, Lighten Up Online, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, Poetry Daily, the Spectator (UK), and the Washington Post. Her prose has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and Details, among others. She is a columnist for Success magazine and the author of a memoir, Just Us: Adventures of a Mother and Daughter.

Balmain has won national journalism honors and been a finalist for the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the X.J. Kennedy Parody Award.

Poet Bruce Bennett to Read from His Works as part of Keuka College’s Spotlight Series

Poet Bruce Bennett will read from his works Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

Part of the College’s Spotlight Series, the reading is free and open to the public.

Bennett, who serves as professor of English and director of creative writing at Wells College,  is the author of nine full-length books of poetry and more than 20 poetry chapbooks. His books include Something Like Karma and Subway Figure. His chapbooks include Visitation and The Holding Stone, and A Girl Like You. His latest book, Swimming in a Watering Can, was published this year.

His New and Selected Poems: Navigating the Distances was chosen by Booklist as “One of the Top 10 Poetry Books of 1999.” Bennett has reviewed contemporary poetry books in The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Harvard Review, among others, and his poems have appeared widely in literary journals, textbooks, and anthologies. He was awarded a Pushcart Prize for his villanelle, The Thing’s Impossible, which appeared in the fall 2011 issue of Ploughshares.

He received three degrees, including his doctorate, from Harvard University, and taught at Oberlin College from 1967-70. While at Oberlin, Bennett co-founded and served as an editor of Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics.

In 1970 he moved to Cambridge, Mass., where he co-founded and served as an editor of Ploughshares. Three years later, he began teaching at Wells College.

During the 1980s and 90s, Bennett served as co-associate editor at Judith Kitchen’s State Street Press in Rochester and Brockport. In 1993, he co-founded the Wells College Book Arts Center and Wells College Press, and served as director of both until 2002. Under his direction, Wells College Press published a number of poetry chapbooks and pamphlets, as well as poems by writers featured in the Wells College Visiting Writers Series.

Poet Laureate of Missouri to Read Here April 15


Keuka College’s Spotlight Series will continue with a reading by William Trowbridge, the Poet Laureate of Missouri, Tuesday, April 15.

Free and open to the public, the reading begins at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

Trowbridge holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a doctoral degree in English from Vanderbilt University. In April 2012, he was appointed to a two-year term as Poet Laureate of Missouri.

Trowbridge has five collections of poetry, including Ship of Fool, The Complete Book of Kong, Flickers, O Paradise, and Enter Dark Stranger; and three chapbooks including The Packing House Cantata, The Four Seasons, and The Book of Kong.  

A Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Northwest Missouri State University, his poems have appeared in more than 30 anthologies, textbooks, and periodicals including Bouelvard, Colorado Review, Columbia, Crazyhorse, Gettysburg Review, The Georgia Review, New Letters, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and Tar River Poetry, among others. Two of Trowbridges’s books consist of monologues delivered by King Kong.

Among his awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarship, a Camber Press Poetry Chapbook Award, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Ragdale, Yaddo, and The Anderson Center. Trowbridge served as an editor of The Laurel Review, one of the Midwest’s leading literary journals, for 18 years.

Now living in Lee’s Summit, Mo., Trowbridge teaches in the University of Nebraska low-residency MFA in writing program.

Author Tessa Mellas in Keuka College Spotlight

Award-winning fiction author Tessa Mellas will read from her works Thursday, Nov. 7, as part of Keuka College’s Spotlight Series.

Free and open to the public, the reading begins at 7 p.m. in the Corning Room of Dahlstrom Student Center.

Mellas received the 2013 Iowa Short Fiction Award for her debut story collection Lungs Full of Noise. The book features 12 “magically realistic” stories that explore women’s issues, culture, society, and psychology.

A native New Yorker, Mellas earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University and master’s degree from Bowling Green State University. She is pursuing her doctoral degree from the University of Cincinnati, where she teaches composition and creative writing. She will serve as a distinguished visiting writer at Bowling Green State University this spring.

Mellas’ stories have appeared in such magazines as Crazyhorse; Gulf Coast; Hayden’s Ferry Review; Story Quarterly; Light Speed; and Washington Square Review. She has also been published in the anthologies 40 Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial; Apocalypse Now: Prose and Poetry from the End of Days; and Girls on Fire.

A former theater director, the Cincinnati resident has competed nationally in synchronized figure skating.