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Prose Poet Christopher Kennedy Reading Nov. 7

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Currently the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Syracuse University, Christopher Kennedy's poetry is funny, deadpan, self-effacing, and revelatory in the way of a man with nothing to lose. Mixing sonnets and prose poems, Kennedy lampoons the absurdities of contemporary American life using ironic fables and surreal parables. Kennedy's poems also reflect his obsession with the idea of transformation--from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from life to death.

Kennedy has published three books of prose poems, Ennui Prophet, Nietzsche's Horse, and Trouble with the Machine. Another poetry collection, Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death, received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award in 2007. His work has appeared in many print and on-line journals and magazines, including Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, The Threepenny Review, and McSweeney's. Reviewing his latest collection, Ennui Prophet (BOA Editions, 2011), Publisher's Weekly noted, "Hip and inviting, Kennedy's short prose poems rarely fail to entertain . . . . [This book] shows his clear mastery of several prose poem forms, with lyricism, jokiness, non sequiturs, sadness, and even a bit of cultural criticism to boot."

Kennedy will be reading Wednesday, November 7th at the Weisman Art Musuem at 7:30, free.

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program's Edelstein-Keller Visiting Writer Series and the Weisman Museum.

First Books 6

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MFA alums Arlene Kim (pictured) and Karen Rigby will be joined by Paul Metsa and Peter Geye for the sixth annual "First Books" event sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English. Kim and Rigby have spectacular debut poetry collections: what have you done to make our ears hear echoes and Chinoiserie. Paul Metsa is a homegrown rock and roller who finally sat down to pen his memoir of life in music and on the road, Blue Highways. Peter Geye is a BA alum whose first novel Safe from the Sea is a tender and touching portrait of a family in pain. Thursday, March 22, 7 pm at the Weisman Art Museum. All authors will read and take part in a panel discussion on publishing the first book. FREE. Cosponsored by the Weisman Art Museum and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota.

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The Center for Visionary Poetics (Sarah Fox, John Fox) held a fantastic reading, which was deemed (it gives me great pleasure to type this) Grand Electric Skull, at Spot Art in NE Minneapolis on Friday evening. Several of our MFAs participated/coordinated/did impressive things with their voices. Readers included: James Shea (who came all the way from Nebraska), Nick Demske (WISCO!), Johannes Goransson (Indiana, Action Books), Lightsey Darst (who used many of our MFA candidates to do a really awesome choral performance), and Elisabeth Workman (a first year MFA poetry lady).

Benefit for Hunger Reading, Nov. 15

The Creative Writing Program's annual Benefit for Hunger Reading will be held Tuesday, November 15, 7 pm in Coffman Theatre. This reading is hosted by Edelstein-Keller Professor of Creative Writing Charles Baxter, who will join faculty authors Julie Schumacher, Peter Campion, Maria Damon and Ray Gonzalez in reading their work for charity. The undergraduate winner of the "Benefit for Hunger Prize for Writing" will also read. The contest was judged by Charles Baxter. All proceeds benefit Second Harvest Heartland, the upper Midwest's largest food relief organization. The reading is free, with a suggested donation of $5 at the door; donations given to Second Harvest. Last year, we raised over $1500 for hunger relief. This reading will also mark new Assistant Professor Peter Campion's Twin Cities reading debut, so don't miss it!

Poet Ronaldo Wilson Visits University of Minnesota

Acclaimed poet Ronaldo Wilson will visit the Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota on Wednesday, October 19, for a free reading at the newly expanded Weisman Art Museum. The reading begins at 7:30 pm and will be followed by a reception and book sales at 8:30 pm. Wilson is the author of "Poems of the Black Object" and several other books. He has held fellowships at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Vermont Studio Center, Cave Canem, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Yaddo Corporation, and has had four poems nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is the recipient of the Cave Canem Prize for PWilsonFile.jpegoetry and is considered one of the finest young poets writing today.

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Writer Philip Gourevitch is going to speaking at the Coffman Memorial Union Theater this evening (7:30 p.m.)!

There is nothing small about Gourevitch's writing. His book, We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, focuses on the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and in 2008, he published The Ballad of Abu Ghraib, a book about America's war on terror and the scandal that took place at Abu Ghraib prison. Gourevitch's talk is free & open to the public. It is sponsored by the Esther Freier Endowed Lectures in Literature and the one-day conference "My Letter to the World: Narrating Human Rights."

Photos from the Jenny Boully Reading

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