2015-2016 Reading Series
Michael Castro is the current St. Louis Poet Laureate. He has published six books of poems, essays, and translations and has appeared in more than one hundred magazines and numerous anthologies, including Voices from the Interior: The Missouri Poets and Voices Within the Ark: The Modern Jewish Poets. He is also the author of Interpreting the Indian: Twentieth Century Poets and the Native American. His poetry collections include The Man Who Looked Into Coltrane's Horn (Caliban Press), Human Rites (Neshui Publishing), How Things Stack Up (Singing Bone Press), and The Guide: Maimonides' Journey (Shulamis Press). In 1975 Castro co-founded the literary organization River Styx. He pioneered several poetry radio shows; most recently Poetry Beat (1989-2003). In 2000 he was presented with The Guardian Angel of St. Louis Poetry Award by River Styx and The Warrior Poet Award in 2005 by Word In Motion.
Eugene B. Redmond is the Poet Laureate of East St. Louis, Emeritus Professor of English, Founding Editor of Drumvoices Revue, and former Chairman of the Creative Writing Committee at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. His groundbreaking Drumvoices: The Mission of Afro-American Poetry, A Critical History (Doubleday) established the credentials of African-American writers within the academic world. Redmond has published seven volumes of poetry, including his 1991 collection, The Eye in the Ceiling: Selected Poems (Writers & Readers), which won an American Book Award, and Arkansippi Memwars: Poetry, Prose & Chants, 1962-2012 (Third World Press). Redmond has won an NEA Fellowship, an Outstanding Faculty Research Award, a Pushcart Prize, and served as a visiting professor at universities in the U.S., Africa, and Europe.
Albert Goldbarth has written three essay collections and over twenty poetry collections. He has won two National Book Critics Circle Awards: one for Heaven and Earth: A Cosmology (University of Georgia Press 1991) and one for Saving Lives: Poems (Ohio State University Press 2001). His collection Many Circles: New and Selected Essays (Graywolf Press 2001) won the creative non-fiction division of the PEN Center USA's Literary Awards for 2002. His newest poetry collection, Selfish: Poems (Graywolf Press 2015), was published in May. He received a Guggenheim fellowship and three more fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work has appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Harpers, and The New York Times. Currently, Goldbarth teaches Humanities at Wichita State University.
Dana Levin’s first collection, In the Surgical Theatre (Perseus Books Group, 1999), won the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize, the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares, The Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Osterweil Award. Her poetry received the Whiting Writers' Award and a Guggenheim fellowship. Her most recent collection is entitled Sky Burial (Copper Canyon Press, 2011). She currently teaches in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College, is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Maryville University, and the former co-chair of the Creative Writing and Literature Department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Marianne Boruch is the author of seven poetry collections, including Cadaver, Speak (Copper Canyon Press 2014) and The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon Press 2011), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She also published the memoir The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana University Press 2011) and two collections of prose on poetry. Boruch has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, Pushcart Prizes, and a Fulbright Visiting Professorship from the University of Edinburgh. Her work has been featured in numerous anthologies including Best American Poetry (2009, 1997), American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006), and Hammer and Blaze: A Gathering of Contemporary American Poets (2002).
Trudy Lewis is the author of the novel The Empire Rolls (Moon City Press 2014) and the short story collection The Bones of Garbo (Ohio State University Press 2003), winner of the Sandstone Prize in Short Fiction. Her novel Private Correspondences (Northwestern University Press 1994) won the William Goyen Award for Fiction. Lewis’ work has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Best American Short Stories, Fence, Meridian, New England Review, New Stories from the South, Third Coast, Witness, and more. Her short story, “Geographic Tongue,” received the Lawrence Foundation Award from Prairie Schooner. Lewis currently teaches creative writing and women’s literature at the University of Missouri while working on an historical novel.
J.E. Robinson is a fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writer from Alton, Illinois. Most recently, Robinson published of The Day Rider and Other Stories: A Collection (Gival Press 2013), which received the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival Award for Gay Literature and a nomination for the 2014 Pushcart Prize. The American Booksellers Association designated his novel, Skip Macalester (Harrington Park Press 2006), a "Paperback Pick.” Robinson teaches history at the Saint Louis College of Pharmacy and lives in Southern Illinois.
Adam Patric Miller is a poet and author of the 2013 Autumn House Press Non-fiction Prize winner A Greater Monster (2014). His essays have been published in Agni Magazine, The Florida Review, and Blue Earth Review. Miller’s essay “Blessing the New Moon” was printed in the 2008 Pushcart Prize Anthology. Miller was named a Jenning’s Scholar for his work improving the quality of secondary education in Ohio. He currently lives in St. Louis with his wife and kids.
Aaron Anstett is a poet and author whose recent work includes Insofar as Heretofore (The Backwaters Press 2014). His book Sustenance (New Rivers Press 1997) was a finalist for the 1998 Colorado Book Award in Poetry, and his collection No Accident received the 2004 Backwaters Press Prize, the 2006 Nebraska Book Award, as well as and the Balcones Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Black Warrior Review, Indiana Review, The Ohio Review, Poetry Daily, River City, Shenandoah, and other journals. Anstett has also been featured in Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac.
Steven Schreiner is the author of Belly (Cervena-Barva 2015) and Too Soon to Leave (Ridgeway Press 1997), and the collaboration In Short, a Memory of the Other on a Good Day (Golden Antelope 2014) with Allison Cundiff. Schreiner’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Poetry, Gulf Coast, Missouri Review, River Styx, December, and others. He currently teaches at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is the founding editor of Natural Bridge – A Journal of Contemporary Literature.
Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of the recent novel Gold Fame Citrus (Riverhead Books 2015) and numerous short stories. Her short story collection Battleborn: Stories (Riverhead Books 2013) won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Battleborn: Stories was also named a best book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Time Out New York, Flavorwire, and NPR. She was a finalist for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. In 2012, Watkins was selected as one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35." She currently serves on the faculty of the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers Program and as co-director of The Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.
Eduardo C. Corral is a poet and author of the Yale Younger Poets Prize winner Slow Lightning (Yale University Press 2012), which made him the first Latino recipient of the award. His poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2012, Beloit Poetry Journal, Huizache, Jubilat, New England Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and Quarterly West. Corral received a "Discovery"/The Nation Award, the J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry, and writing residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo.
T.J. Jarrett is a writer and software developer in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most recent collection, Zion (Southern Illinois University Press 2014) won the Crab Orchard Open Competition in 2013. Her work has been published in Poetry, African American Review, Boston Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Callaloo, DIAGRAM, Third Coast, VQR, West Branch and others. Jarrett’s debut collection, Ain’t No Grave (New Issues Press 2013), was a finalist for the 2013 Balcones Prize.
Shane McCrae is the author of four full-length books of poems, including the collection The Animal Too Big to Kill: Poems (Persea Books 2015), winner of the 2014 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor's Choice Award. His collection Mule (Cleveland State University Poetry Center 2010) was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award. McCrae is also the author of three poetry chapbooks. His poems and prose have appeared in many anthologies, including Best American Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Fence, Boston Review, Agni, jubilat and others. He holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and a JD from Harvard Law School. McCrae currently lives in Iowa City.
Kathryn Davis: Kathryn Davis is the author of seven novels, the most recent of which is Duplex (Graywolf Press 2013). Her other books include The Thin Place (Back Bay Books 2006), Versailles: A Novel (Houghton Mifflin Company 2002), The Walking Tour (Houghton Mifflin Company 1999), Hell: A Novel (The Ecco Press 1998), The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1993), and Labrador (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux 1988). She has received a Kafka Prize for fiction by an American woman, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2006, she won the Lannan Foundation Literary Award. Currently, she is the senior fiction writer on the faculty of the Washington University Writing Program.
Pam Houston is an author of short fiction, novels, and essays, including her most recent novel, Contents May Have Shifted (W. W. Norton & Company 2012). Houston’s collection Cowboys Are My Weakness (W. W. Norton & Company 1992) won the 1993 Western States Book Award and has been translated into nine languages, and her collection Waltzing the Cat (W. W. Norton & Company, 1998) won the Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction. Her stories have been selected for Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, and The Pushcart Prize. Houston’s story “The Best Girlfriend You Never Had” was John Updike's only addition to Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the Director of Creative Writing at U.C. Davis and lives on a Ranch in Colorado 9,000' above sea level.
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