Athens, Ga. – The international journal Verse, in conjunction with the University of Georgia’s department of English, Creative Writing Program and the Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Chair, will present the biannual Verse Festival. The two-day event will feature a pair of readings by six visiting poets.
Peter Gizzi, Andrew Joron and Elizabeth Willis will read from their work on Thursday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Mercury Art Works (located at 160 Tracy Street). Olena Kalytiak Davis, Jena Osman and Sebastien Smirou will read on Friday, March 30, at 3 p.m. in the Griffith Auditorium at the Georgia Museum of Art (located at 190 Carlton Street).
The events are free and open to the public.
Davis is the author of two poetry collections, shattered sonnets love cards and other off and back handed importunities (Bloomsbury, 2003) and And Her Soul Out of Nothing (Wisconsin, 1997), winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. A resident of Anchorage, Alaska, where she works as a lawyer, Davis has been awarded a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Pushcart Prize and a Guggenheim fellowship.
Gizzi’s latest poetry book is The Outernationale (Wesleyan, 2007). His others include Periplum and Other Poems, 1987-1992 (Salt, 2004), Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan, 2003) and Artificial Heart (Burning Deck, 1998). Editor of The House That Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan, 1998) and a recent Guggenheim fellow, he teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Joron has published several poetry books, including Fathom (Black Square, 2003), The Removes (Hard Press, 1998) and Science Fiction (Pantograph, 1992). His selected prose, The Cry at Zero (Counterpath, 2007), is just out; his earlier critical work is Neo-surrealism: Or, The Sun At Night (Black Square, 2004). The translator of Ernst Bloch’s Literary Essays (Stanford, 1998) and of Richard Anders, he is a freelance bibliographer and indexer in Berkeley.
Osman directs the Creative Writing Program at Temple University. Her full-length poetry books are An Essay in Asterisks (Roof, 2004) and The Character (Beacon, 1999), winner of the Barnard New Woman Poets Prize. Other publications include Jury (Meow, 1996), Amblyopia (Avenue B, 1993) and Twelve Parts of Her (Burning Deck, 1989). Co-founder and co-editor of Chain, she has received a 2006 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, an NEA grant and other awards.
Smirou is the author of Mon Laurent (P.O.L., 2003) as well as of the limited-edition chapbooks Ma giraffe (Contrat maint, 2006) and Simon aime Anna (rup&rud, 1998). His earliest work appeared in the breakthrough anthology Revue de Littérature Générale edited by Pierre Alféri and Olivier Cadiot. He founded and edited the cooperative micro-editions rup& rud, which ran for seven years, and currently lives and works in Paris.
Willis is the author of four poetry volumes: Meteoric Flowers (Wesleyan, 2006), Turneresque (Burning Deck, 2003), The Human Abstract (Penguin, 1995; a National Poetry Series Selection) and Second Law (Avenue B, 1993). Her newest chapbooks are The Great Egg of Night (Equipage, 2005) and Meteoric Flowers (Atticus/Finch, 2006). She is an assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University.