Poet Brigit Pegeen Kelly Reads April 1

B.P. KellyHer poems are like no one else’s—hard and luminous, weird in the sense of making a thing strange that we at last might see it. —AMERICAN POET

Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet Brigit Pegeen Kelly, who is a visiting professor at the Michener Center for Writers this spring, will give a reading of her work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 1, in the Avaya Auditorium, ACE 2.302, on campus at 24th and Speedway.

The author of three acclaimed volumes, Kelly has won some of the most prestigious honors in American poetry.  Her first book, “To the Place of Trumpets was selected by James Merrill in 1987 for the esteemed Yale Series of Younger Poets.  “Song,” which followed in 1994, was winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize of the Academy of American PoetsThe Orchard” was a finalist for not only the 2004 Pulitzer Prize, but the National Book Critics Circle Award and the LA Times Book Award in Poetry.  Other honors include a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, the Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Theodore Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest, and a Whiting Writers Award, as well as fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others.  In 2008, she received the distinguished Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

Recognized as well for her excellence in teaching, Kelly has taught creative writing at Purdue, UC Irvine, Warren Wilson, and many conferences and colonies nationwide and in Ireland, and is on the permanent faculty of the University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign.  In addition to her graduate workshop in poetry, Kelly is teaching a seminar on the New York School of poets.  Seminar student Caroline Ebeid says of her classroom approach:  “Brigit’s pedagogic style is like that of a curator: she brings a set of varied texts before us—poems, paintings, art movements, films, theories—and asks us to  discern how they are in conversation with one another. At the heart of each discussion is [the question]: how are my quiet lyric poems interacting with the spirit of this time? I leave class each week with an ardent ambition to reclaim a dramatic territory that poetry has conceded  to the other genres.”

The reading is free and open to the public.  Parking is available in the nearby garage at San Jacinto and 24th.