★ Groundhog Poetry Press Launch April 13

Head to Hollins Thursday evening to celebrate the launch of Groundhog Poetry Press, Richard Dillard’s new habitat for poets. The poets will read. Books will be sold.

Thursday, April 13, 2017 | 8:15pm
Green Drawing Room, Hollins University


THE POETS: Jack Christian earned an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins in 2003 and is also a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst M.F.A. Program for Poets and Writers. He is the author of two books of poetry: Domestic Yoga and Family System, winner of the 2012 Colorado Prize. His poems and stories have appeared in literary magazines such as Carolina Quarterly, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, and Mississippi Review. He teaches composition and creative writing at Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts, and has recently presented scholarship at The Conference on College Composition and Communication and at the University of Connecticut’s Annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing.

Professor of English and chair of the English department at Hollins, Cathryn Hankla is also poetry editor of The Hollins Critic and the author of 13 books. Her works of fiction include Fortune Teller Miracle Fish, The Land Between, A Blue Moon in Poorwater, and Learning the Mother Tongue. Galaxies (forthcoming 2017), Great Bear, Last Exposures, Poems for the Pardoned, Emerald City Blues, Texas School Book Depository (a finalist for the annual Library of Virginia Prize in Poetry), Negative History, Afterimages, and Phenomena are among her poetry collections. Winner of a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award and the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry, Hankla’s essays, poems, and stories have appeared in literary journals nationwide.

A 1993 Hollins graduate, Julia Johnson is associate professor and director of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at the University of Kentucky. Her first book, Naming the Afternoon, won the George Garrett New Writing Award for Poetry of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is also the author of Subsidence and The Falling Horse. Her poems have appeared in The Greensboro Review, Washington Square, Poetry International, Cake Train, New Orleans Review, Third Coast, and other journals and anthologies. “Johnson’s poems are intricate and crafty, they explode, treating the reader to a fantastic display that’s part Joseph Cornell, part Yves Klein, part Braque, and that’s just the beginning of the show,” said author Frederick Barthelme.

Liana Quill is a member of Hollins’ class of 2009, and her debut collection, Fifty Poems, won the 2010 Mississippi Review Poetry Series contest. “Quill’s book offers us 50 chances to think not so much of what a poem’s words say but of what poetry’s essential presence proposes and lets us have,” said contest judge Dara Wier. Poet Sandra Doller added, “In 50 bone bare poems, Liana Quill strips the familiar pastoral down to its negative capability, leaving bite-mark fossils imprinted on each page. Soft as tissue yet warped as rock, these ethereal pieces sing in the silo long after you’re gone.” Her newest book is as a flock of goats. Quill’s poems have also been published in jubilat, 1913: A Journal of Forms, and Blackbird.

Duffie Taylor, a Hollins alumna, spent several years as a journalist and an instructor at the Kibiti Secondary School in Tanzania. Recently, she graduated from the M.F.A. program at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Her first book of poetry is 7,000 Sparrows. Her poems have appeared in both literary journals and anthologies including Best New Poets 2007; Thirty, the celebratory collection of work from the first three decades of the Mississippi Review; notnostrums; jubilat; and the James Dickey Review. She lives and works in Mobile, Alabama.

Funding provided by the Dee Hull Everist Visiting Speaker Series.

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