Poet and 2016-17 Lewis Center for the Arts Hodder Fellow Jenny Johnson will read from her recently released debut collection of poems, In Full Velvet, as a part of a book release celebration on Wednesday, March 8 at 4:30 p.m. at Princeton University. The reading, followed by a Q&A with Johnson and a reception, will take place in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street. Presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing, the event is free and open to the public.
In Full Velvet, Johnson’s debut collection of poems, was released by Sarabande Books in February 2017 and received a Whiting Award. The collection interrogates the nuances of desire, gender, ecology, queer lineage and community with what the Whiting Awards Committee calls a “subtle mastery of line and rhyme.” Copies of In Full Velvet will be available for purchase before and after the reading.
Johnson’s poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, New England Review, Troubling the Line: Trans & Genderqueer Poetry & Poetics, and elsewhere. She won Beloit Poetry Journal ’s 2011 Chad Walsh Poetry Prize and has received awards and scholarships from the Blue Mountain Center, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She earned her M.F.A. in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Currently, she is a Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh where she teaches writing and gender studies. During her Hodder Fellowship, she has been working on her second book of poems.
Since 1944 Hodder Fellowships have been awarded each year through a highly competitive application process to artists and writers of exceptional promise to pursue independent projects at Princeton during the academic year. Past Hodder Fellows have included fiction writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, choreographer Nora Chipaumire, composer and lyricist J. Michael Friedman, playwright Danai Gurira, novelist Tama Janowitz, and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose play was the basis for the script of Moonlight, recently awarded Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards. Along with Johnson, current Hodder Fellows include fiction writer NoViolet Bulawayo, playwright Jiehae Park, filmmaker Joshua Sanchez, and choreographer Karen Sherman.