Poets to read in Language Arts Live Series at Bates College

Four acclaimed poets will read in two February events as part of Bates College’s Language Arts Live series of literary readings.

Both events are open to the public at no cost. Language Arts Live is sponsored by the Bates English department, the Humanities Fund, the Learning Associates Program and the John Tagliabue Poetry Fund. For more information, please contact this eosucha@bates.edu.

Digital poet Brian Kim Stefans reads and performs from his work at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in Chase Hall Lounge, 56 Campus Ave. Known primarily as a poet, Stefans also works as a visual and new-media artist and critic and is an assistant professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles.

His most recent book of poetry, Kluge: A Meditation and Other Works (Roof Publishing, 2007), continues the critical acclaim accorded his other books. He is also the author of Before Starting Over: Selected Writings and Interviews 1994-2005 (Salt Publishing, 2003), an informal chronicle of digital poetics/Asian American poetry in the from the past decade.

Stefans has had a key role in shaping the terrain of new media poetics. A prolific e-book publisher, Arras places much of his work on his Web site, arras.net, devoted to digital poetics and new media. He is the editor of the /ubu (”slash ubu”) series of e-books. His internet art and digital poems, such as The Truth Interview (with Kim Rosenfield) and the Flash Polaroids can all be found at arras.net.

Language Arts Live presents an evening with poets Caroline Knox, Dorothea Lasky and Dara Weir from the Wave Books poetry press at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in Chase Hall Lounge, 56 Campus Ave.

An award-winning poet, Knox will release her seventh poetry collection, “Nine Worthies” in 2010. Knox is the winner of the Recommended Reading Award in 2009 from the Massachusetts Center for the Book and the Maurice English Award in 2005, and has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Yale/Mellon Visiting Faculty Program, and from Poetry magazine. Knox’s work has been further anthologized in two editions of the classic collection “Best American Poetry” in 1988 and 1994.

Lasky is the author of two full-length poetry collections: AWE (2007) and Black Life (2010). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and other journals. She holds a master’s in fine arts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master’s in education from Harvard University.

To promote AWE, Lasky held a virtual book tour, posting videos of herself reading in different rooms of her house over the course of a month. In an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, she said of her video readings, “I think there’s something about the video. It’s a different kind of intimacy than going to see someone read: You can be really close to the person in a way that you couldn’t if you were sitting there.”

Weir is the author of nine collections of poetry including Selected Poems (2009) and Remnant of Hannah (2006). Recipient of grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Weir held the Rubin Distinguished Chair at Hollins University in 2005. She is the 2001 winner of the American Poetry Review’s Jerome Shestack Prize.

Weir’s poetry “draw[s] a reader away from a recognizable world into one in which women waltz with bears, houseflies chat with colonels, and the absence of sound makes a material presence” said a writer for the Harvard Review.

Weir currently directs the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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