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Posts Tagged ‘spotlight series’

Keuka College’s Spotlight Series Continues Oct. 8

Keuka College’s 2015-16 Spotlight Series continues Thursday, Oct. 8 with a poetry reading by Joan Murray.

The reading, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Hegeman Hall room 109.

A repeat guest on NPR’s Morning Edition, Murray is a poet, writer, and playwright, whose books include Swimming for the Ark: New & Selected Poems 1990-2015, Looking for the Parade, Dancing on the Edge, Queen of the Mist, and The Same Water. 

She has contributed poetry, fiction, and essays to such journals as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, The Nation, The New York Times, the Paris Review, Poetry, the Sun, the Village Voice, and anthologies including The Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize.

Murray is a National Poetry Series Winner, a two-time National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship Winner, a Wesleyan New Poets Series Winner, and Winner of Poetry Society of America’s Gordon Barber Award.

The editor of The Pushcart Book of Poetry and the Poems to Live By anthologies, Murray was commissioned by Broadway’s Jujamcyn Theatres, and invited by L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum, to develop Queen of the Mist for the stage. Murray has served as poet-in-residence at the New York State Writers Institute, and has given readings and workshops at myriad universities and cultural centers, including the Chautauqua Institution, the International Poetry Forum, and the Lark Theatre in Manhattan.

Walker and Simkin Open the 2015-16 Spotlight Series

Keuka College’s 2015-16 Spotlight Series will begin Saturday, Sept. 26 with a concert by Nicholas Walker and Elizabeth Simkin.

The performance, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Norton Chapel.

The concert will feature original music by Walker, which the duo has work-shopped into an hour-long, programmatic set. Their collaborative music partnership spans a decade, and includes duo recitals, chamber music, early music, contemporary music, and orchestral music.

Walker, double bassist and composer, and Simkin, who plays cello, both serve as associate professors of performance studies at Ithaca College.

Simkin earned a doctorate at Indiana University Bloomington, and prior to her position at Ithaca College, served on the faculty at such institutions as Earlham College and the Eastman School of Music. She has also served as a teaching assistant to Janos Starker, with whom she studies.

She has played with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and the Buffalo Chamber Orchestra, among others. A fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Simkin serves as a U.S. artistic ambassador at international recitals.

Walker earned a doctoral degree at Stony Brook University, has toured with swing era saxophone legend Illinois Jacquet, played with jazz master Wynton Marsalis, and has worked closely with François Rabbath.

He has given solo bass recitals on four continents, and has performed at music festivals worldwide. An active chamber musician, he is a member of the multi-media ensemble Ardesco, and, along with Simkin, Ensemble X. Walker has performed with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada.

In 2013, the International Society of Bassists (ISB) commissioned his composition, Chorale, for its international solo competition. Walker has performed with the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, the Berlin Double Bass Festival, the Kaleidoskop Double Bass Festival in Germany, and the International Double Bass Festival in Beijing, China.

Prior to teaching at Ithaca College, Walker served on the faculty of the Stony Brook Pre-College Program, the Music Conservatory of Westchester, and Mansfield University.

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.