Poets Vievee Francis, Mary Leader, and Mark Turcotte will read from recent books and discuss their creative process. Moderated by A. Van Jordan, poet and professor in the Department of English Language and Literature.
Vievee Francis is the author the forthcoming Horse in the Dark, winner of the 2010 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, and of Blue-Tail Fly, a collection of poems published by Wayne State University Press in 2006. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals, anthologies and textbooks, including Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Rattle, Approaching Literature: Reading Writing and Thinking, Best American Poetry 2010 and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. She earned her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was the 2009/2010 Poet in Residence for the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program. She is the recipient of a 2009 Rona Jaffe Award, a 2010 Kresge Artist Fellowship, and Callaloo and Cave Canem fellowships.
Mary Leader began writing poems in the midst of a career as a lawyer in her home state of Oklahoma, first as an Assistant State Attorney General and later as a Referee for the Oklahoma Supreme Court. She is the author of two award-winning books in the United States: Red Signature, a selection of the 1996 National Poetry Series, published by Graywolf Press in 1997; and The Penultimate Suitor, winner of the 2000 Iowa Poetry Prize, published by the University of Iowa Press in 2001.
Mark Turcotte spent his earliest years on North Dakota’s Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation and in the migrant camps of the western United States. Later, he grew up in and around Lansing, Michigan, then traveled the country, working and living on the road for nearly fifteen years, before landing in Chicago where he began writing in earnest. Turcotte is author of four poetry collections, including The Feathered Heart and Exploding Chippewas. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in many literary journals, including TriQuarterly, POETRY, Hunger Mountain, Rosebud, Prairie Schooner, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Sentence and The Missouri Review, and has been anthologized in The POETRY Anthology, 1912-2002 and Poetry Daily:366 among other collections.