University of Pittsburgh
March 2, 2003

Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series Hosts Poets D.A. Powell, Larissa Szporluk, and Kevin Young For a Day of Dialogue and Readings

Contact:  412-624-4147

March 3, 2003

PITTSBURGH—Poets D.A. Powell, Larissa Szporluk, and Kevin Young will take part in a dialogue and poetry reading as part of the University of Pittsburgh Writing Program's Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series (PCWS) March 13.

Powell, Szporluk, and Young will participate in a dialogue titled "Remaking Contemporary Poetry" at 3 p.m. in Room 501 of the Cathedral of Learning. The writers will reconvene for readings of their own poems at 8:30 p.m. in Room 125 of the Frick Fine Arts Building, Schenley Drive, in Oakland. The dialogue and poetry reading is the sixth event in this free lecture series.

The Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry at Harvard University, Powell has published two books of poems, Lunch (Wesleyan University Press, 2000), and Tea (Wesleyan University Press, 1998). Dealing with issues of love, lust, and physical and mental illness, Powell's poetry has appeared in more than 30 publications, such as The Iowa Review, Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, Boston Review, and The Washington Post. Powell has received numerous accolades for his prose, including the Boston Review Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Prize at the University of Iowa, and the Paul Engle Fellowship from the James Michener Foundation.

The Ruth M. Miller Professor of Poetry at Indiana University, Young was named "one of the most powerful people under the age of the 30" in the United States by Swing Magazine in 1998. Young is the author of two volumes of poetry, Most Way Home (William Morrow, 1995; Zoland Books, 2000), and To Repel Ghosts (Zoland Books, 2001). Described by critics as "provocative and evocative," To Repel Ghosts examines the meaning of "young, gifted, and black" by harking back to the memories of Charles Mingus, Jimi Hendrix, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. A recipient of the Academy of American Poets Prize and a former fellow from the prestigious MacDowell Colony, Young has also been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Grand Street.

Critics compare Szporluk to such poets as Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Mark Strand, and George Herbert. An adjunct assistant professor of women's studies and creative writing at Bowling Green State University, Szporluk is the author of three books of poetry, Dark Sky Question (Beacon Press, 1998), Isolato (University of Iowa Press, 1999), and The Wind, Master Cherry, the Wind (Alice James Books, 2003). Often delving into experimental and metaphysical metaphors of prose, Szporluk's poetry has been included in the Best of American Poetry anthologies of 1999 and 2001.

Pitt's Asian Studies Program, the Book Center, and the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place cosponsor the Contemporary Writers Series.