Pulitzer prize poet to visit campus

By Megan Ruge Asst. living and arts editor

On Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 11 a.m., author Stephen Dunn will hold a reading in the Degenstein Center Theater.

The reading is presented by co-sponsors, the Raji-Syman Visiting Writers Series and the Susquehanna University Institute of Lifelong Learning.

Dunn is a Pulitzer prize winning poet.

According to Glen Retief, director of the Writer’s Institute, Dunn will talk about the role of the poet in modern society.

Retief mentioned that Dunn will also read a few poems from his many works.

According to a press release written by Alyssa Bower of the Susquehanna University Writers Institute, Dunn has published more than twenty works of poetry and prose.

Among the myriad of Dunn’s works are “Walking Light: Essays and Memoirs; Local Time,” chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by the American Library Association, and “New and Selected Poems: 1974-1994,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

American Poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wilbuer said: “To read a few lines of a Stephen Dunn poem is to feel suddenly in touch with the way things are, and the way we really feel about them.”

Dunn wrote a book in 2000 called “Different Hours,” which won Dunn a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2001.

In addition to his books, many of Dunn’s pieces have been featured in The New Yorker, The Georgia Review, The American Poetry Review and many other publications.

According to his website’s biography, Dunn earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Hofstra in 1962. He attended The New School from 1964 to 1966 and received his master of arts in creative writing from Syracuse in 1970.

Since 1974, Dunn has taught at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey as a distinguished professor of creative writing. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Washington, New York University, Columbia University and the University of Michigan.

The Miami Herald wrote about Dunn, saying his poetry “helps make the landscape of all of our lives more livable—quietly, unobtrusively, he has taken his place among our major, indispensable poets.”

“Stephen Dunn has proven himself a master of concealment,” former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins said.

“His honesty would not be so forceful were it not for his discrete formality; his poems would not be so strikingly naked were they not so carefully dressed,” said Billy Collins.

The Raji-Syman Visiting Writers Series will continue with its next event on Feb. 7 at 7:30 in Issacs Auditorium with Natalie Diaz.

Diaz is the author of “When My Brother Was an Aztec,” her first poetry collections.

Diaz was raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village. She played professional basketball abroad for four years, only returning to the United States to complete her master’s of fine arts. Diaz now teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Residency MFA program. She also directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program.

The Raji-Syman visiting writers series continues with Honor Moore on March 6. After Moore’s visit, the next writer will be Matvei Yakelevich on April 17 where Susquehanna’s RiverCraft literary journal will be launched.

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