Reading series to conclude semester with contemporary poets


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Poets Emily Skaja (left) and and Marcus Wicker (right) will present their work Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in Forum I.

Nadia Farmer said she tries to go to the Southern Indiana Reading Series every semester because she is able to learn more about different writing perspectives and creativity.

“It’s a good experience for the students,” the junior creative writing major said. “It’s cool to see what the authors do with their works. It opens up a door for students.”

Farmer said she loves to take the opportunity to talk with authors about the inspiration for their works and the time it takes for them to complete their work.

She said she is hopeful to see poets Emily Skaja and Marcus Wicker present in the Wright Administration Building Forum I on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. as the concluding authors for this semester’s Southern Indiana Reading Series.

Skaja is a poet from Illinois with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Purdue University. She is an associate poetry editor for the Southern Indiana Review and recently published her first collection of poems titled “Brute.”

Wicker is a poet with two collections, “Silencer” and “Maybe the Saddest Thing.” He received a Master of Fine Arts from Indiana University and is the poetry editor of the Southern Indiana Review. He taught at USI in 2012 and now teaches in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Memphis.

Farmer said she is excited for students to hear from both authors as poetry has a more dramatic feel due to “the author’s putting their heart and soul into their poetry,” and a more contemporary subject.

“With today’s work you can have people who will incorporate generational things so younger people can understand,” she said. “It gives the students a new view of literature from a new perspective. It’s refreshing to see new work rather than old works from high school.”

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Rosalie Moffett said the authors from this last reading series were chosen because they were relatable to the USI community and good models for contemporary student writers.

“We try to pick writers that we think will have a really big impact here,” Moffett said. “Anyone who is trying to write today, they are a contemporary writer, and I feel like a lot of students have got a skewed education about what poetry is, especially for students who think that poetry is just those old poems you read in high school English class. These books will blow that out of the water.”

Moffett said bringing authors to campus helps give students a chance to experience a person’s art style up close through diverse subjects.

“These are poets who are publishing right now and are receiving celebrated awards,” Moffett said. “So, if you are wondering what the landscape for American poetry there is right now, these are two really good examples of writers.”

Moffett said this semester has been focused heavily on poetry with each poet presenting new perspectives and diverse collections that all come together through their form and purpose.

Moffett said she and Assistant Professor of English Casey Pycior are already planning out next semester’s reading series, hoping to give students a surprisingly different set of authors who write about fields outside of English.

“We have such a diverse group of students on campus and I think sometimes we get into our little silos,” Moffett said. “I want to reach that audience and bring those people in.”