Due to illness, Christian Wiman has canceled his appearance at Fall Arts Celebration. The event will continue as “An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Li-Young Lee and Pattiann Rogers.” The event, Friday, October 25, at 7 p.m. in the L.V. Eberhard Center, Pew Grand Rapids Campus, is open to the public with free admission. A book signing and reception will follow the presentation.
Li-Young Lee is the author of four critically acclaimed books of poetry, his most recent being Behind My Eyes (W.W. Norton, 2008) and a memoir, The Winged Seed: A Remembrance (Simon and Schuster, 1995), which received an American Book Award.
Lee’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as several grants. He is also featured in Katja Esson’s documentary, “Poetry of Resilience.”
Born in 1957 of Chinese parents in Jakarta, Indonesia, Lee learned early about loss and exile. His great grandfather was China’s first Republican president; and his father, a deeply religious Christian, was physician to Communist leader Mao Tse-Tung. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Lee’s parents escaped, and after a five-year trek through Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan, they settled in the United States in 1964.
Lee’s poetry reveals a dialogue between the eternal and the temporal, and accentuates the joys and sorrows of family, home, loss, exile, and love. He lives in Chicago with his wife Donna and their two sons.
Rogers, born in Joplin, Missouri, was an undergraduate at the University of Missouri and received a master’s degree from the University of Houston. She was a visiting writer at University of Texas and University of Montana and elsewhere, and was a faculty member at the University of Arkansas and Vermont College. Rogers’ many awards include two NEA grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation.
The author of 12 volumes of poetry, most recently Holy Heathen Rhapsody, Rogers’ work also addresses issues of the spirit. A Booklist review said the poet “writes transporting poems of discovery, contemplation and gratitude.” Poet Terry Tempest Williams has said, “Her poems are translations of our dreaming life — what we know to be true but fail to remember. We read her words, sentence by sentence, image by image, and return to all that is beautiful, mysterious, and erotic.”
Fall Arts Celebration has enriched the arts and humanities in West Michigan for more than 10 years by featuring many distinguished writers, poets, musicians, dancers, artists and scholars. The tradition continues with signature events in 2013. All Fall Arts Celebration events are open to the public with free admission.
For more information and a complete schedule, call (616) 331-2185.