Midwest Poets Series Brings Poet, Storyteller, Jan. 30January 14, 2014

Poet Janice N. Harrington will give the annual Rev. Robert R. Burke, S.J., Memorial Reading, which honors the former Rockhurst University faculty member, lover of literature and supporter of arts. The reading will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, in Mabee Theater.

Harrington grew up in Alabama and Nebraska, and both settings figure largely in her writing. "My experience with poetry," Harrington says in a 2007 interview with the Poetry Society of America, "evolved and grew from family storytelling, playground chants, the rhythms of the black church, the literary canon studied in the parochial school curriculum of the 1960s, the Black Arts Movement, and, finally, the revelation of seeing a live performance of Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who've Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough."

Harrington's first book of poetry, Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone (2007), won the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She is also the 2007 winner of the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry and a 2009 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award for emerging women writers.

Her children's books, The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County (2007) and Going North (2004), have won many awards and citations, including a listing among Time magazine's top 10 children's books of 2007.

Harrington currently teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Admission is $3 at the door; no one will be denied admission for lack of funds. Books will be available for purchase at the event; a reception and book signing follow the reading. Mabee Theater is located in Sedgwick Hall on Rockhurst University's campus, 54th Street and Troost Avenue. For a season brochure or more information, call The Center for Arts and Letters, 816-501-4607.


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