U-M English Department Zell Visiting Writers Series.
Feb. 7, 14, 18, & 20. Readings by poets and writers. Feb. 7: Fiction reading by Elizabeth McCracken, a U-T Austin creative writing professor and award-winning author of four books. Her 1997 novel The Giant’s House was widely praised for its quirky love story between a reclusive spinster librarian and a young patron isolated by the medical condition gigantism. Feb. 14: Award-winning Scottish poet John Glenday, also an addictions counselor, whose poems are noted for their concise and direct style, conversational tone, and surreal humor. "It's refreshing to discover a poet whose work is earthly, full of rivers and hills and islands, but where old ideas like ‘love’ and ‘soul’ have not been banished," write judges of the Griffin Poetry Prize, awarded to his 2009 poetry collection, Grain. Feb. 18: Sri Lankan author and playwright Sivamohan Sumathy and Brooklyn-based Sri Lankan performance artist YaliniDream. Sumathy--an English professor at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka--is the award-winning author of books on postcolonial literature and the women's movement, and has written, directed, and acted in numerous international plays. YaliniDream blends poetry, theater, South Asian and American music, and dance styles including ballet, modern, and corde lisse--acrobatics that involve a hanging rope--to explore issues related to the Sri Lankan diaspora, gender, and sexuality. Feb. 20: Acclaimed poet and 2011 National Book Award winner Nikky Finney, also an English professor at the University of Kentucky. Born in South Carolina to Civil Rights-activist parents, Finney writes poetry exploring personal experiences and African American political issues and figures. In her award-winning collection Head Off & Split, she is noted for her tender, sympathetic voice and exacting eye in poems whose subjects range from Condoleeza Rice and Rosa Parks to her own mother's dance at her wedding with the controversial S.C. senator Strom Thurmond, a racial segregationist.
5:10 p.m., UMMA auditorium, 525 S. State. Free. 764-6330. [map]