Visiting poets to give readings

Sunday, January 27, 2008 | 8:15 p.m. CST; updated 8:55 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

COLUMBIA — Poets from around the country will be speaking in Columbia thanks to the effort of MU’s Center for the Literary Arts.

“We have a wonderful tradition of bringing in great authors and poets,” said Chad Parmenter, assistant director of the center and a poet in his own right.

MU’s Center for the Literary Arts has several even

Stop Traffic benefit, 8 p.m., Feb. 14, Cherry Street Artisan, 111 S. Ninth St. Terrance Hayes poetry reading, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 20, Reynolds Alumni Center, 700 Conley Ave. Heather McHugh poetry reading and lecture, reading 7:30 p.m., March 13, Reynolds Alumni Center, and lecture 4 p.m., March 14, with a location to be determined. Major Jackson poetry reading, 7:30 p.m., March 20, Reynolds Alumni Center. Kevin Prufer poetry reading, 7:30 p.m., April 24, Cherry Street Artisan.

Parmenter expressed his love of poetry by saying it “brings to light ideas that are on the tip of your tongue but you can’t put words to,” and he encouraged those with limited exposure to come to the center’s events.

As a part of its Center Reading Series, the center is working on a Valentine’s Day poetry reading to benefit Stop Traffic, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding to end human trafficking. The event will feature two Chicago poets, Jason Bredle and Simone Muench, as well as MU graduate students Marc McKee and Katy Didden.

“It offers a place where people can come and think about love and human connection in new ways,” Parmenter said.

The next week, the Center for the Literary Arts will feature poet Terrance Hayes, who will read from his 2006 anthology, “Muscular Music.” This and other works will be on sale at the event, where Hayes will also sign books.

In March, Heather McHugh, Milliman Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle, will give a reading and a lecture. Poet Major Jackson, associate professor of English at University of Vermont, will also give a reading. Jackson’s works have been featured in The American Poetry Review and The New Yorker magazine among others.

Also in the spring, the Center Reading Series will feature Missouri poet Kevin Prufer, professor of English at the University of Central Missouri. Prufer is an editor of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing and associate editor of American Book Review.

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