The fall 2008 Poetry at Noon readings at the Library of Congress will spotlight poets laureate from Kentucky and Indiana, who will share the stage with other talented poets from their states.
Kentucky poets will read on Tuesday, Nov. 18
, and Indiana poets will read on Tuesday, Dec. 9
. Both programs will be at noon
in the Whittall Pavilion on the ground level of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The events are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.
Kentucky Poet Laureate Jane Gentry Vance has chosen three Kentucky natives to read at the Poetry at Noon event. The poets are Tony Crunk, Maurice Manning and Davis McCombs. All three have won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award.
Former Indiana Poet Laureate Joyce Brinkman will introduce a group of “Airpoets” whose poems were incorporated into stained-glass murals in the new Indianapolis International Airport that is scheduled to open later this year. The poets include Ruthelen Burns, Joseph Heithaus and the current Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf. Brinkman herself is an “Airpoet.”
The reading by the Kentucky poets is sponsored by the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center and by the Library’s Center for the Book. In addition, the event is supported by a partnership grant from the Kentucky Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.
A native of Kentucky, Jane Gentry Vance is a professor of English at the University of Kentucky. Her most recent books of poetry are “Portrait of the Artist as a White Pig” (2006) and “A Year in Kentucky: A Garland of Poems” (2005).
Tony Crunk’s most recent books include “Cumberland” (2007), a collection of poetry, and “Railroad John and the Red Rock Run” (2006), a children’s book. Crunk won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1995 for “Living in the Resurrection.”
Maurice Manning’s latest book is “Bucolics” (2007). His collection “Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions” won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2000. Manning teaches in the creative writing program at Indiana University.
Davis McCombs is the author of “Dismal Rock” (2007). His first book “Ultima Thule” won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1999. McCombs directs the creative writing program at the University of Arkansas.
The reading by the Indiana poets is sponsored by the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center. The work written by the “Airpoets,” which was integrated into the new Indianapolis International Airport murals by artist Martin Donlin, was collected into a collaborative book titled “Rivers, Rails and Runways” (2008).
Joyce Brinkman, who served as Indiana poet laureate from 2005 to 2007, is the author of “Tiempo Español,” which was written in Spain while she studied with the University of New Orleans MFA program. Brinkman also collaborated with glass artist Arlon Byliss to create lighted glass art containing her poetry that is now displayed at the Marion County Central Library in Indiana.
Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf’s forthcoming book “Bloodroot: Indian Poems” is a collection of 175 poems written from 1971 to 2007. His collection “The Country I Come From” (2002) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Krapf grew up in Jasper, Ind. He is emeritus professor of English at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, where he taught for 34 years. He returned to Indiana in 2004.
Ruthelen Burns is a mixed-media artist and a poet, and has shown her work at Southern Methodist University, the Herron School of Art and the Indianapolis Art Center. Her work was also featured as part of a 2008 poetry exhibit on art pieces at the National Art Museum of Sport.
Joseph Heithaus is the author of a series of poems “Poison Sonnets,” which won the 2007 Discovery/The Nation Prize. His work has appeared in Poetry, the North American Review, the African American Review and the Southern Review. Heithaus serves as chair of the English Department at DePauw University.