Midwest Poets Series Announces Season of Mid-America Superstars October 10, 2011

Rockhurst University’s Midwest Poets Series, famous for its mix of regional and international visiting writers, will focus this season on poets of the Midwest with international reputations.

One of the nation’s most influential poets, writers, and thinkers, Robert Bly will open the season at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20. Bly will be celebrating his latest book of poems, Talking Into the Ear of a Donkey (Norton, 2011).

The series continues Thursday, Dec. 1, with Kansas City based poet Michelle Boisseau, whose latest of four books, A Sunday in God-Years (University of Arkansas Press, 2009), has been described by Eleanor Wilner as, “a unique blend of sensuality, rue, fresh insight, engaging candor, anguish, wicked humor, taut lyricism and a pungent dash of caustic.” 

The first poet laureate of the state of Missouri, Walter Bargen, a resident of Ashland, in the center of the state, will read on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Of his 13 books of poetry, the latest is Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected (BkMk Press-UMKC, 2009).

Aliki Barnstone, of Columbia, Mo., a well-known poet and translator, will read from her latest book, Bright Body (White Pine Press, 2011) March 22, 2012. Barnstone is editor for the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation, and director of the M.U. Workshops in Greece-Athens/Serifos.

“With this lineup of poets,” says Midwest Poets Series founding director Robert Stewart, “we want to emphasize the fact that the region of the Midwest includes writers of true international stature. While they live among us, almost neighbors, they also are among the poets being read around the globe.” 

International writers previously featured in Midwest Poets Series include Irish poet Eavan Boland and Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. The Series has featured poets and writers of a vast range of ethnic and cultural diversity, including such names as Jimmy Santiago Baca, Li-Young Lee, Luisa Valenzuela, and Ray Young Bear.

Midwest Poets Series, sponsored by The Center for Arts & Letters and the College of Arts and Sciences at Rockhurst University, has been designed to enhance the literary and intellectual lives of Rockhurst University, its neighbors in Kansas City, and the surrounding region.  All readings take place in Mabee Theater, in Sedgwick Hall. Admission to each event is $3. No one will be denied admission for lack of funds.

Midwest Poets Series gratefully acknowledges support from The Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation, the N.W. Dible Foundation, and Rockhurst University Center for Arts and Letters.

A reception with book signing begins immediately following each reading in the lobby of Greenlease Art Gallery, adjacent to Mabee Theater, in Sedgwick Hall. For more information, call (816) 501-4607.

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