Centre News

Affrilachian poets and Centre professors read at Winter Poetry Festival

January 17, 2013 By Elizabeth Trollinger       
Frank X Walker Centre’s Winter Poetry Festival will be held at 3 p.m. on
Saturday, Jan. 19. A variety of poets will read at the festival,
including Frank X. Walker (above), francine j. harris, Mitchell
Douglas and Bianca Spriggs. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffith.

Lisa Williams Centre professors Christian Moody, Philip White and Lisa
Williams (above) will also read selections of their poetry at the

Centre College is hosting its second Winter Poetry Festival from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 in the Ewen Reading Room on the second floor of the Campus Center. All are invited to attend to hear such poets as Mitchell Douglas, francine j. harris, Bianca Spriggs and Frank X. Walker, as well as Centre faculty members Christian Moody, Philip White and Lisa Williams read from their work.

Mitchell L. H. Douglas, associate professor of creative writing at Indiana University-Purdue University—Indianapolis, is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor for “PLUCK!: the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture.” His poetry has appeared in such publications as Callaloo, the Crab Orchard Review and others.

Douglas’ first collection of poems, “Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem,” was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work—Poetry in 2010. It was also a semifinalist for the 2006 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. His second collection, “\blak\ \al-fə bet\,” won the 2011 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor's Choice Award and will be published by Persea Books next month. Douglas is a native of Louisville.

francine j. harris is currently the Poet in Residence at Centre College during the winter term, also known as CentreTerm. harris won the Michigan Quarterly Review‘s Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets. A Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow, harris has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poems have been or will be published in publications including Ploughshares, Meridian and the anthology “McSweeney’s Poets Picking Poets.”

“allegiance,” harris’ debut collection, was published earlier this year, and has already become the number one on the list of the nation’s bestselling poetry. a native of Detroit, harris lives and teaches in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Bianca Spriggs is the creator and artistic director of the Gypsy Poetry Slam, featured at the annual Kentucky Women Writers Conference. Spriggs is also the creator of “The SwallowTale Project,” a traveling creative writing workshop for incarcerated women. An Affrilachian Poet and Cave Canem Fellow, Spriggs has been named one of the top 30 performance poets in the nation by TheRoot.com.

Spriggs has published two volumes of poetry: “Kaffir Lily” and “How Swallowtails Become Dragons.” She is the managing editor of “PLUCK! The Affrilachian Journal of Art and Culture.” Spriggs lives in Lexington, Ky.

Frank X. Walker is associate professor in the department of English at the University of Kentucky. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, Walker is the editor of “America! What’s My Name? The ‘Other Poets Unfurl the Flag” and “Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium.”

Walker is the author of four collections of poetry. “Affrilachia” was a Kentucky Public Librarians’ Choice Award nominee, and “Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York” won the 35th annual Lillian Smith Book Award. His other two volumes are “When Winter Came: the Ascension of York” and “Black Box.” Walker is a native of Danville, Ky.

Christian Moody, visiting professor of English at Centre, has had fiction published by Esquire, the Best American Fantasy anthology, the Best New American Voices anthology, Cincinnati Review and others. Moody was in residence at Yaddo and at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference as a Tennessee Williams Scholar last summer. His poetry has appeared in the Indiana Review, Sonora Review and elsewhere. One of his creative nonfiction essays was recently accepted by Diagram journal as an essay contest finalist, and he has a story forthcoming in the Midwest Gothic Stories anthology, published by the editors of Ninth Letter. Moody is currently writing a novel and a compilation of stories.

Associate Professor of English Philip White has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and the Walt McDonald First Book Award. His book of poems “The Clearing” was published in 2007. White has had poems published in The Yale Review, Ploughshares and The Hudson Review, among other publications. White recently completed a second collection of poems.

Lisa Williams, associate professor of English and director of Centre’s creative writing program, is a receipient of the Rome Prize in Literature and the Barnard Women Poets Prize. She has published two books of poems, “The Hammered Dulcimer” and “Woman Reading to the Sea,” with a third book, “Gazelle in the House,” forthcoming in 2014. She has had poems recently published in Poetry, Blackbird, Memorious, Measure and Image magazines.

After the reading, the authors will take questions and sign books.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu with your feedback.

Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.

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