April: National Poetry Month – guest blog entry with Amy Ash

Dr. Amy Ash is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing in ISU’s Department of English

She has contributed this Library blog entry especially in celebration of National Poetry Month!

Scroll down for information on the Thursday, April 8 Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series appearance of internationally-acclaimed poet and essayist Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

At the inauguration of President Biden this January, Amanda Gorman reminded our nation of our love for poetry. Her inaugural poem was so powerful, so perfect for the moment. Afterward, social media exploded with the beauty, the energy of her poem and her performance.

As a poet, I’ve always known the magic, the power a poem can offer. As a teacher, I love to introduce students to the world of contemporary poetry that is very much alive and thriving. This is an exciting time—the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month, which has grown to become an annual celebration of poetry in schools, in libraries, in statehouses, throughout our streets, and on television and radio programs nationwide.

Jennifer Benka, Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets, reminds us that “poetry has a vital role to play as a counterweight to the struggles we’ve all endured this past year.” I couldn’t agree more. In the darkness and distance of this pandemic, we are continually reminded how essential poetry is in creating community and crafting new possibilities for our world. Though not surprised, exactly, I was still stunned (and so very thankful) by how the poetry community has answered the call for community, as the internet flourished with countless online reading and events throughout the pandemic.

Here at ISU, we are so thankful to be able to continue the Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series this year, offering the experience in a virtual format, which has allowed for unexpected connections and opportunities. The Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series is made possible by grant funding from the Indiana Arts Commission and our regional affiliate, Arts Illiana. We appreciate their continued commitment to and support of the literary arts.

Many thanks also to the Indiana State University College of Arts and Sciences, the Distance Education Program, and the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies for their generous support of this series, which offers invaluable community engagement and experiential learning opportunities.

Help us celebrate National Poetry Month this Thursday, April 8th at 6pm by logging in to see internationally-acclaimed poet and essayist Aimee Nezhukumatathil, whose work is infused with discovery, wonder, and joy.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of a book of nature essays, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishmentswhich was chosen as Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year, and four award-winning poetry collections, most recently, Oceanic (2018). Awards for her writing include fellowships from the Mississippi Arts Council, Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for poetry, National Endowment of the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Her writing has appeared in NYTimes Magazine, ESPN, and Best American Poetry. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.

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April 19: Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series featuring poet Maggie Smith

6:30pm – Margaret L. Boyce Recital Hall (Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts)

Internationally acclaimed poet Maggie Smith will be reading at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19 in the Landini Center for the Performing and Fine Arts, Margaret L. Boyce Recital Hall as part of the Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series. The reading will be followed by a question and answer session and a book signing.

Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry – Good Bones (Fall 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison [ISU Library PS3619.M5918 A6 2015], winner of the Dorset Prize and the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry; and Lamp of the Body [ISU Library PS3619.M5918 L36 2005 ], winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award. She is also the author of three prizewinning chapbooks.

Smith’s poems have appeared in the many other journals and anthologies. Her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and was named the Official Poem of 2016” by the BBC/Public Radio International. In April 2017 “Good Bones” was featured on the CBS primetime drama Madam Secretary, and to date the poem has been translated into nearly a dozen languages.

Smith is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, among others.

This event is sponsored by the Indiana State University Center for Community Engagement and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Oct. 18 Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series

Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series presents: Poet and alumnus Samuel T. Franklin

October 18, 2017 6:00 pm – Ends at: 7:00 pm

University Art Gallery (in the Landini Center for the Fine and Performing Arts)

Contact: Amy Ash 8122373168 amy.ash@indstate.edu

Franklin will read from his work 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18 in the University Art Gallery.

A question and answer session will follow. This event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the Indiana State University Center for Community Engagement and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Samuel T. Franklin holds an M.A. from Indiana State University. Currently working as a technical writer in Bloomington, Indiana, his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Flying IslandThe Indianapolis Review, HoosierLit, and M Review, among others. The God of Happiness is his first book.

Contact: Amy Ash 8122373168 amy.ash@indstate.edu

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March 8: Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series welcomes Daiva Markelis

Daiva Markelis, author of White Field, Black Sheep: A Lithuanian-American Life will read from her work as part of the Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series.

A question and answer session and book signing will follow.

The reading is free and open to the public. This event is made possible with the assistance of the Creative Writing Committee and the College of Arts and Sciences.

When: March 8, 2017

Starts at: 3:30 pm

Ends at: 4:30 pm

Where: Landini Center for Performing & Fine Arts, University Art Gallery

Contact:
Amy Ash, 575-312-5053
amy.ash@indstate.edu

Nov. 6: Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series Features ISU Alum

ISU graduate Jared Sexton will be visiting Indiana State as part of the Theodore Dreiser Visiting Writers Series. Mr. Sexton is an assistant professor at Georgia Southern University and the author of the short story collection An End to All Things. He will be giving a public reading of his work.

Following, will be a reception and book signing will follow. This event is made possible with the assistance of Indiana State University Center for Community Engagement and the College of Arts and Sciences.

When: November 6, 2014

Starts at: 3:30 pm

Where: Root Hall A264

Contact: Mark Lewandowski 812-237-8552 mark.lewandowski@indstate.edu

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