Department of Writing

Poetry Night 2013

An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Christian Wiman and Pattiann Rogers

Friday, October 25, 7 p.m.
L.V. Eberhard Center, 2nd floor
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Reading followed by book signing and reception


A native of West Texas, Christian Wiman graduated from Washington and Lee University and later taught at Stanford, Yale, Northwestern, and the Prague School of Economics. During his editorship of Poetry, the magazine's circulation has tripled and its influence widened around the world. A strong believer in the magazine's famous, 100-year-old "Open Door" policy, Wiman has consistently published formalists alongside experimentalists, as well as greatly expanding the range of prose in the back of the magazine. In 2011 Poetry won two prestigious awardsfor general excellence and for best podcastfrom the American Society of Magazine Editors.

Editor of Poetry Magazine from 2003 to 2013, Christian Wiman is also the author of four books of poetry and two collections of essays. In the New Yorker, poet and critic Dan Chiasson chose Wiman’s Every Riven Thing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010) as one of the eleven best poetry collections of the year, writing "Every poem seems made to steady and fortify him against mortality." Wiman’s other collections include The Long Home (Copper Canyon, 2007), which won the Nicholas Roerich Prize; Hard Night (2005); Stolen Air, translations of Osip Mendelstam (Ecco, 2012); and the nonfiction collections Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet (Copper Canyon, 2007) and My Bright Abyss (FSG, 2013). He has been the recipient of both the Ruth Lilly and Wallace Stegner fellowships and was recently appointed to the faculty of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music as Senior Lecturer in Religion and Literature.

"One of the preeminent devotional poets of any faith now writing in English." David Rothman

“Christian Wiman is fiercely dedicated to describing experiences for which there are no words. Few contemporary poets invite us to consider new ways of looking at those experiences as openly, intensely, and originally as he does.” TriQuarterly


Pattiann Rogers has published thirteen books, most recently The Grand Array: Writings on Nature, Science, and Spirit (Trinity University Press, 2010) and Wayfare (Penguin, 2008).  Her newest book of poems, Holy Heathen Rhapsody, has just been published by Penguin in September 2013.  She has also published a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry.

Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation.  Among other awards, her poems have received five Pushcart Prizes, two appearances in Best American Poetry, five appearances in Best Spiritual WritingSong of the World Becoming, Poems, New and Collected, 1981-2001 (Milkweed Editions) was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and an Editor’s Choice in Booklist. Firekeeper, Selected Poems was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Award and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1994. In 2000, Rogers was a resident at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.

Pattiann Rogers has taught as a visiting writer at several universities, including Arkansas, Montana, Texas, Washington University and Pacific University.  She is the mother of two sons and has three grandsons.  She lives with her husband, a retired geophysicist, in Colorado.

According to The Georgia Review, Rogers’s poems “have startling breadth, often engaging scientific, theological, and artistic modes of perception simultaneously without ever losing a central focus or a syntactical sense of direction.”

And from Orion, “Through Rogers’s curiosity, wit, boundless love of the world, and remarkable dexterity as a poet, we are altered.”

Page last modified August 17, 2014