University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers will host
award-winning poet Stephen Dobyns for three days, Nov. 4-6, as part
of its Visiting Writers Series. Dobyns, who has published 10 books
of poetry and 20 novels, and who has won the National Poetry Series,
the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets, the
Melville Cane Award, and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and
the National Endowment for the Arts, will give a public reading Nov.
4 at 7 p.m. at the Ogletree Alumni House on Southern Miss' Hattiesburg
Dobyns, who teaches at Sarah Lawrence College in New
York, is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, including "Pallbearers";
"Common Carnage"; "Black Dog"; "Red Dog";
and "Velocities: New and Selected Poems." He has also
distinguished himself with short stories such as "Eating Naked"
and novels, including "Boy in Water" and "The Church
of Dead Girls" which have been translated into 10 languages.
While visiting the Center for Writers, Dobyns will
lead a workshop and meet individually with students. Dr. Angela
Ball, who heads the poetry program at the Center for Writers, said,
"I'm thrilled that my students will be learning from Stephen
Dobyns. It's been said that literature should be an ax applied to
the frozen waters of the heart--Dobyns will help the students learn
to wield that ax." Of Dobyns' own work, she added, "Stephen
Dobyns is a master craftsman whose poems possess tremendous force
and range. No other poet I know is better at articulating exactly
what it means to be human."
Additional visitors in the Center for Writers' Visiting
Writers Series are scheduled throughout the 2004-2005 academic year.
This fall the center has hosted novelist Matthew Sharpe, author
of the "The Sleeping Father," a Today Show Book Club pick,
and Tim O'Brien, author of "The Things They Carried."
In November, Elissa Schappell and Rob Spillman, editors of "Tin
House" magazine, will visit and discuss fiction and contemporary
literary publishing. In the spring, the schedule features award-winning
poet Lucie Brock-Broido; bestselling novelist Francine Prose; novelist
Percival Everett; and National Book Award finalist Jennifer Egan.
Center director Frederick Barthelme said Dobyns' visit
is one he especially looks forward to, as it strengthens an already
strong program in poetry. "Stephen Dobyns is one of the finest
poets working in America today," Barthelme said. "It is
a rare privilege to have a writer of this caliber visiting and working
in the classrooms at The University of Southern Mississippi."