University of Pittsburgh
January 20, 2012

Award-Winning Poets Wayne Koestenbaum and Myung Mi Kim to Be Featured in Jan. 26 Reading at Pitt

The event is part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series
Contact:  412-624-4147


PITTSBURGH—Noted poets Wayne Koestenbaum, Distinguished Professor of English at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and Myung Mi Kim, professor of English at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, will read from their works as part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in the University of Pittsburgh’s Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public. 

The reading will be followed by a conversation about life, work, and literary friendship moderated by poet Dawn Lundy Martin, assistant professor of English in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

The 2011-12 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season is sponsored by Pitt’s Writing Program and The Book Center.

A celebrated poet and cultural critic, Koestenbaum is the author of five books of poetry, five works of criticism, a novel, and two mixed-genre works.

After being named cowinner of the 1989 “Discovery”/The Nation poetry contest, Koestenbaum published his first collection of poetry, Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems (Persea, 1990), which was chosen as one of The Village Voice Literary Supplement’s Favorite Books of 1990. His other books of poetry are Best Selling Jewish Porn Films (Turtle Point, 2006), Model Homes (BOA Editions, 2004), The Milk of Inquiry (Persea, 1999), and Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender (Persea, 1994).

Koestenbaum’s five works of criticism are Andy Warhol (Viking, 2001), Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Stars, and Aesthetics (Ballantine Books, 2000), Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1995), The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire (Poseidon, 1993), and Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration (Routledge, 1989). He also has written a novel, Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes (Soft Skull, 2004), the mixed-genre works Humiliation (Picador, 2011) and Hotel Theory (Soft Skull, 2007), and the libretto for the opera Jackie O

The Queen’s Throat was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award and Koestenbaum received a Whiting Writers’ Award in 1994. He taught in Yale University’s English department from 1988 to 1996, and he has taught painting in the Yale School of Art. 

Koestenbaum earned a BA from Harvard University, an MA from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD from Princeton University.

Kim, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of nine, was raised in the Midwest. She is an avant-garde poet who often employs fragmentary language in her work to explore issues of dislocation, colonization, immigration, loss of her first language, and the fallout of history. 

Kim’s collection of poems Under Flag (Kelsey St., 1991) won the Multicultural Publishers Exchange Award of Merit. Subsequent collections include Penury (Omnidawn, 2009), River Antes (Atticus/Finch 2006), Commons (University of California, 2002), Spelt with Susan Gevirtz (a+bend press, 2000), DURA (Sun & Moon, 1999), and The Bounty (Chax Press, 1996).  She is the subject of the book The Subject of Building Is a Process / Light Is an Element: essays and excursions for Myung Mi Kim (Queue Books, 2008).

Kim’s poems have appeared in such journals as Conjunctions, Sulfur, Avec, Hambone, and positions: east asia cultures critique. Her work also has been anthologized in Premonitions: Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry from Talisman House and Asian American Literature, as part of the Literary Mosaic series from HarperCollins, as well as in other collections. 

Kim’s recent honors include a residency at the University of Minnesota as Edelstein-Keller Writer in Residence, an award from the Fund for Poetry, a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and two Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative North American Poetry (1993 and 1994) from Sun & Moon Press. She has taught in the Creative Writing Program at San Francisco State University and served as the director of the University at Buffalo’s Poetics Program from 2008 to 2011. 

Kim earned a BA from Oberlin College, an MA from Johns Hopkins University, and an MFA from the University of Iowa.

For more information about the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, call 412-624-6508 or visit