Department of Writing

Past Poetry Night Events

Poetry Night 2013: An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Li-Young Lee 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

Li-Young Lee
Pattiann Rogers
 

 

Li-Young Lee is the author of four critically acclaimed books of poetry, his most recent beingBehind 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.

 

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.”


Fall 2012: “An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Nikky Finney and B.H. Fairchild”

 

Nikky Finney is the author of four books of poetry, and her most recent, Head Off & Split is the winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. Previous volumes include The World is Round, Rice, and On Wings Made of Gauze. She is Professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky.

B.H. Fairchild is the author of Usher (his sixth book of poetry), and Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress. He has been the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation and is the author of Such Holy Song, a scholarly study of William Blake. In 2001 the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the Arthur Rense Poetry Prize for “consistent excellence over a long career.”

Friday, October 19, 2012 7 p.m.

2nd floor, L.V. Eberhard Center

Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Reading followed by reception


Poetry Night 2011

"An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Ted Kooser and Terrance Hayes."

Poetry Night 2011 is scheduled for Friday night, October 21, 2011 at the Eberhard Center’s 2nd floor. Free and open to the public. Booksigning and reception will follow the event.

Ted KooserTerrance Hayes

Highly regarded Nebraskan poet Ted Kooser was United States Poet Laureate for two terms (2004-2006) and was the first poet from the Great Plains to hold the position. A professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln he is the author of eleven full-length collections of poetry, including Weather Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994) and Delights and Shadows, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. Kooser’s writing is known for its clarity, precision, and accessibility and his poems are included in textbooks and anthologies used in both secondary schools and college classrooms across the country. In addition to poetry, Kooser has written in a variety of forms including plays, fiction, personal essays, literary criticism, and children's books. 

"There is a sense of quiet amazement at the core of all Kooser's work." —Ed Hirsch

One of the most compelling voices in American poetry, Terrance Hayes is the author of four books of poetry; Lighthead (2010), winner of the 2010 National Book Award in Poetry; Wind in a Box, winner of a Pushcart Prize; Hip Logic, winner of the National Poetry Series, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and runner-up for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Muscular Music, winner of both the Whiting Writers Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award.

"First you'll marvel at his skill, his near-perfect pitch, his disarming humor, his brilliant turns of phrase. Then you'll notice the grace, the tenderness, the unblinking truth-telling just beneath his lines, the open and generous way he takes in our world." —Cornelius Eady


Poetry Night 2010

Bob HicokCarolyn Forché

"An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Bob Hicok and Carolyn Forché"

Poetry Night is a celebration of the power of language to enlighten and entertain us—reaching this year from Great Britain to the Great Lakes.

GVSU Poetry Night revised

 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – [Due to unforeseen circumstances Great Britain Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will be unable, as previously scheduled, to join poet Bob Hicok for Poetry Night at Grand Valley State University.] 

The very popular Fall Arts Celebration event will feature for GVSU’s Fiftieth Anniversary two home-grown Michigan writers who have gone on to achieve national, if not international acclaim. “An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Carolyn Forché and Bob Hicok,” is planned for Thursday, October 21, at 7 p.m., on the second floor of L.V. Eberhard Center, 301 West Fulton, on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus. The event is free and open to the public. 

Forché was born in Detroit in 1950, studied at Michigan State University and received an MFA from Bowling Green State University. She is currently the Lannan Visiting Professor of Poetry and Professor of English at Georgetown University.

Forché is the author of four books of poetry. Her first, Gathering The Tribes, received the Yale Younger Poets Award. The Country Between Us, was chosen as the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets, The Angel of History, won the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Blue Hour, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Known as a “poet of witness,” Forché traveled to Spain in 1977 to translate the work of Salvadoran-exiled poet Claribel Alegria, and received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship when she returned. She has received three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and other literary and teaching awards.

The evening will also include Bob Hicok, a Michigan native who attended Grand Valley in the early 1980s as a student in William James College. Hicok said he remembers those years as a time “when I had hair,” but also an exciting time at what was then Grand Valley State Colleges. “I was given a great deal of freedom, and access to professors was extensive. I remember Robert Burns, Roz and Robert Mayberry, Stephen Rowe, all of them fondly, all of them as people who loved ideas and discussing them,” he said.

Hicok later received an MFA from Vermont College. He has taught creative writing at Western Michigan University and is now an associate professor in the creative writing program Virginia Tech University. He had worked for nearly two decades as an automotive die designer and eventually owned his own business. His poetry skill was once described in the New York Times Book Review as being somewhere between those of the surgeon and the gods of the foundry and convalescent homes.


Poetry Night 2009



 

Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland, dubbed one of the smarter and funnier poets of his generation, is the author of three volumes of poetry: Sweet Ruin, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry; Donkey Gospel, winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets; and What Narcissism Means to Me, as well as a collection of essays about poetry, Real Sofistakashun . The winner of the 2005 O.B. Hardison Jr. Prize and recipient of the 2005 Mark Twain Award, Hoagland currently teaches in the poetry program at the University of Houston.
 

Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith is a lively, vibrant poet who frequently performs with musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. She is the author of five acclaimed poetry volumes including Blood Dazzler and Teahouse of the Almighty, which was a National Poetry Series selection and winner of the first-ever Hurston/Wright Award in Poetry. Smith was inducted into the National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent in 2006. A four-time individual champion on the National Poetry Slam, she has been the featured poet on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam.”



Thursday, October 1, 7 p.m.
L.V. Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Followed by reception and book signing

Event is free and open to the public.
Recent visitors to campus include: Paul Muldoon, Natasha Trethewey, Gary Snyder, Stanley Plumly, Sonia Sanchez, Sharon Olds, C.K. Williams,  Philip Levine, Charles Wright, Rita Dove, Rosellen Brown, Billy Collins, Jim Harrison, Robert Hass, Charles Johnson, Galway Kinnell, and Naomi Shihab Nye.

For more information on Poetry Night, please contact Dr. Patricia Clark, poet-in-residence,
Writing Department, email: clarkp@gvsu.edu; or visit www.gvsu.edu/fallarts


Poetry Night 2008

“an evening of poetry & conversation”

Wednesday, October 29, 7 p.m. at Eberhard Center, 2nd floor -- Free & no tickets needed

Seventh Annual Poetry Night!

Come hear two Pulitzer Prize winning poets who will share their words and their vision—both using the lens of history to inform some of their work.

Featuring:Irish native Paul Muldoon (Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University) author of Moy Sand and Gravel (winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in poetry) and most recent book Horse Latitudes. The Times Literary Supplement has called Muldoon “the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.”

Natasha Trethewey (Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Emory University) author of Domestic Work and Native Guard (winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in poetry). Her work “explores the complex memory of the American South.”
 


 

Fall Arts Celebration, 2007 Poetry Night

Poetry Night 2007

Sponsored by a gift from Liesel and Hank Meijer

Gary Snyder, Pulitzer prize-winning poet and world-renowned writer, is the author of nineteen books of poetry and prose including Mountains and Rivers Without End, an epic, book-length poem of geology, prehistory, and mythology.

Stanley Plumly is an award-winning poet and author. His most recent work includes Old Heart: Poems and Argument & Song: Sources & Silences in Poetry, a collection of Plumly's essays on poetry and nature.

Friday, October 19, 7 p.m.
L.V. Eberhard Center, 2nd floor
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Reading followed by reception and book signing

Event is free and open to the public. For more information call (616) 331-2180.

For pictures from this event, click here.

 




The Grand Valley Writers Series also sponsors a number of literary events throughout the year.
For a listing of other literary events across Lower Michigan, go to UpInMichigan.org.

Page last modified October 16, 2014