Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Poet Arnold, "Quiet In Tone ... Gem-Hard In Observation," February 15

Chestertown, MD, January 31, 2007 — Elizabeth Arnold, a poet praised for her "work of glorious affirmation," will present a reading at Washington College's Sophie Kerr Room on Thursday, February 15, at 4:30 p.m.

Arnold teaches in the M.F.A. programs at the University of Maryland and Warren Wilson College. Her poems and essays have appeared in Slate, TriQuarterly, Chicago Review and a host of other publications. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, and was a 2003 Puschcart Prize Nominee in poetry. Her first book, The Reef, documented the poet's struggle with cancer. "Arnold's poetry, much more mature than most writers' first books, links lyrics, slight narratives, and a bit of satire into a work of glorious affirmation," wrote the Florida Times-Union. "The book is a splendid read."

The influential poetry/arts journal Agni likewise praised the work: "For this commitment to both autobiographical honesty and aesthetic risk, The Reef should be valuable to anyone who has been waiting for where contemporary American poetry is going."

Arnold's new volume of poetry, Civilization, also has been receiving positive reviews. Open Books: A Poem Emporium noted, "Spare in language and quiet in tone, Ms. Arnold's poems are nonetheless gem-hard in observation and reasoning."

The Feb. 15 poetry reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which works to carry on the legacy of the late 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, Kerr 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.

Admission to the reading is free and open to the public. The Sophie Kerr Room is in Miller Library. For more information, call 410/778-2800.

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