Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

UGA hosts Summer Poetry Reading Series June 6-13

Judith Ortiz Cofer

Athens, Ga. – A week of poetry reading and discussion of the poetic craft including five Georgia poets will be hosted by University of Georgia College of Education professor Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor June 6-13 at 7 p.m. at the Globe in downtown Athens.

This is the second year for the event titled, “Seat in the Shade: A Summer Poetry Reading Series,” which will feature poets Judith Ortiz Cofer, Stephen Corey, Jenny Gropp Hess, Laura Newbern, Jericho Brown and Tamara Madison. The finale on June 13 titled, “Poetry by and for Educators: Readings from the Collective,” will feature UGA educators and students. The Globe is located at 199 N. Lumpkin St., Athens.

Cahnmann-Taylor, a professor in the department of language and literacy education and founder of Poetry by and for Educators, developed the summer poetry reading series a year ago in conjunction with her Advanced Poetry for Educators graduate class.

Featured poets and the dates of their appearances are:
• Judith Ortiz Cofer, June 6
Cofer is UGA’s Regents and Franklin Professor of English and Creative Writing. She is the author of many books and poetry collections over the last 30 years. Her most recent works include the novel “If I Could Fly” (2011), the children’s books “Animal Jamboree: Latino Folktales” (2012), “The Poet Upstairs” (2012), and “¡A Bailar!” (2011). Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, Glamour and other journals as well as numerous textbooks and anthologies including: “Best American Essays 1991,” “The Norton Book of Women’s Lives,” “The Norton Introduction to Literature,” “The Norton Introduction to Poetry,” “The Heath Anthology of American Literature,” “The Pushcart Prize,” and the “O. Henry Prize Stories.” She was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2010.

• Stephen Corey and Jenny Gropp Hess, The Georgia Review, June 7
Corey has been the editor of The Georgia Review since 2008. He joined the staff in 1983 as assistant editor and subsequently served as associate editor and acting editor. He has published nine collections of poems, including “There Is No Finished World” (2003). His poems, essays and reviews have appeared in dozens of periodicals, and he has co-edited three books in as many genres, including (with Warren Slesinger) “Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry” (2001). Over the past 25 years, he has served as poet-in-residence or visiting poet/editor for numerous writing programs, conferences and other literary gatherings. Currently he is editor-in-residence for the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency master’s program at Pacific Lutheran University. He holds a doctorate from the University of Florida.

Gropp Hess, the former editor of Black Warrior Review, joined The Georgia Review staff as managing editor in the summer of 2012. At The Georgia Review she oversees production of the journal and participates in editorial planning and decision-making. She reads manuscripts, works closely with authors in editing all accepted work, directs art selection and edits the website. She has taught creative writing at the university and high school levels and worked in academic administration. She holds a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a bachelor’s degree in English literature and creative writing from the University of Montana. Her poetry and prose can be found in or is forthcoming from Colorado Review, Seneca Review, Best New Poets 2012, American Letters & Commentary, Seattle Review, Denver Quarterly, Unsaid Magazine, DIAGRAM and Columbia: A Journal of Literature & Art, among others.

• Laura Newbern, June 10

Newbern is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Georgia College and State University. She teaches graduate and undergraduate poetry workshops, poetics and other creative writing and literature courses. She is also the poetry editor of Arts & Letters, a biannual journal of creative writing published by Georgia College. Newbern arrived at GCSU in 2005, after teaching at UGA. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and a master’s degree in English/creative writing from New York University. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College at Columbia University. Her areas of interest include poetics, 20th century American poetry and 20th century French poetry. Newbern is the author of “Love and the Eye.”

• Jericho Brown, June 11
Brown earned his doctorate in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston. He also holds a master’s in creative writing from the University of New Orleans and graduated magna cum laude from Dillard University in 1998. He has taught at numerous conferences and workshops including the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa. He currently teaches creative writing as an assistant professor of English at the University of San Diego.

His first collection of poetry, “Please,” won the 2009 American Book Award. Brown is the recipient of the 2009-10 Bunting Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and a Whiting Writer’s Award. He was a finalist for the 2009 Lambda Literary Award and Paterson Poetry Prize and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

• Tamara Madison, June 12
Madison is a writer, poet and performer currently living in Atlanta. Her creative and critical works have been published in numerous anthologies and journals including: Poetry International, Tidal Basin Review, aaduna, and Web Del Sol Review of Books. She holds a master’s degree from the New England College and has taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Hudson County Community College in New Jersey.

• “Poetry by and for Educators: Readings from the Collective,” June 13
A night of readings from UGA educators and poets led by Cahnmann-Taylor.