Chestertown, MD, October 23, 2003 — Washington College's Sophie Kerr and O'Neill Literary House Lecture Series present a reading by poet Suzanne Cleary, Thursday, October 30, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of the Miller Library. All are invited to this free event.
Suzanne Cleary was born and raised in Binghamton, NY. She earned a M.A. in writing from Washington University and a Ph.D. in literature and criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She currently works as an associate professor of English at SUNY-Rockland in Suffern, NY. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Georgia Review, The Massachusetts Review and other journals, and her book reviews have appeared in Bloomsbury Review and Chelsea Review. Writing about Cleary's recent collection Keeping Time (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2002), U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins observed, “I have long been anticipating this first book, and the chance to express how highly I value Suzanne Cleary's poetry. Her poems have a vigorous forward roll to them and are strung together by daring chains of association. It is refreshing to read a poet who wants to hide nothing, to turn over all the cards at once. High time she had a book, a place for her original voice to echo.”
The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which carries on the legacy of Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, MD, whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, she left the bulk of her estate to the College specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor,” and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.