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Poets featured at Fall Arts Celebration event

  • Christian Wiman and Pattiann Rogers

Posted on October 15, 2013

Fall Arts Celebration at Grand Valley continues with “An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Christian Wiman and Pattiann Rogers.”

The event, Friday, October 25, at 7 p.m. in the L.V. Eberhard Center, Pew Grand Rapids Campus, is open to the public with free admission. A book signing and reception will follow the presentation.

The two award-winning poets will read and discuss their poetry, honed by years of life experiences. Their works focus on multiple facets of human life, especially spirituality, nature, and multi-disciplinary explorations in science, philosophy, and the play of the imagination.

Wiman was born and raised in West Texas, educated at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, and taught at Stanford, Northwestern University, and the Prague School of Economics, before becoming the editor of Poetry Magazine. During his decade at the helm, the magazine’s circulation tripled and its influence widened around the world. In July 2013, Wiman joined the faculty at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music as Senior Lecturer in Religion and Literature.

Hailed by Dana Gioa, a former director of the National Endowment for the Arts, as “one of the most important American poets and poetry critics now active,” Wiman is praised as a writer of depth, ambition, and originality. His three books of poetry include Every Riven Thing, named one of the ten best poetry books of 2010 by the New Yorker. His new memoir, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer, is about his experience with a serious medical crisis.

Rogers, born in Joplin, Missouri, was an undergraduate at the University of Missouri and received a master’s degree from the University of Houston. She was a visiting writer at University of Texas and University of Montana and elsewhere, and was a faculty member at the University of Arkansas and Vermont College. Rogers’ many awards include two NEA grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation.

The author of 12 volumes of poetry, most recently Holy Heathen Rhapsody, Rogers’ work also addresses issues of the spirit. A Booklist review said the poet “writes transporting poems of discovery, contemplation and gratitude.” Poet Terry Tempest Williams has said, “Her poems are translations of our dreaming life—what we know to be true but fail to remember. We read her words, sentence by sentence, image by image, and return to all that is beautiful, mysterious, and erotic.”

Fall Arts Celebration has enriched the arts and humanities in West Michigan for more than 10 years by featuring many distinguished writers, poets, musicians, dancers, artists and scholars. The tradition continues with signature events in 2013. All Fall Arts Celebration events are open to the public with free admission.

For more information and a complete schedule, call (616) 331-2185, or visit


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