Four poets are coming together at Princeton University for a multi-media, multi-genre discussion entitled “Colonization of the Eye: A Troubling of Identity, Performance, and Projection.” Presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing, Natalie Diaz will lead the discussion alongside the critically-acclaimed poets Christian Campbell, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and Rogers Reeves as they explore identities in relationship to artistic performance, audience projection, and notions of artistic craft. The panel will take place on Wednesday, October 26 at 4:30 p.m. in the James M. Stewart ‘32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street. The event is free and open to the public.
Natalie Diaz is a poet and a teacher at the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Rez M.F.A. program. She is Mojave and currently directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program, where she works to revitalize the Mojave language. Her awards include the Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Holmes National Poetry Prize awarded by Princeton, a 2015-16 Princeton Hodder Fellowship, a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Residency, and a U.S. Artists Ford Fellowship. She is a Lannan Literary Fellow as well as a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published in 2012, and she is currently working on her second collection.
Roger Reeves is a poet and an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His poetry been published in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Tin House. His awards include a 2013 NEA fellowship, a 2013 Pushcart Prize, a 2008 Ruth Lilly fellowship by the Poetry Foundation, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, an Alberta H. Walker Scholarship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and two Cave Canem fellowships. He was also a 2014-15 Hodder Fellow at Princeton. Reeves’ first book of poetry, King Me, was published in 2013 by Copper Canyon Press. He is currently working on a collection of poems entitled The Last American Minstrel, which explores nineteenth-century minstrel songs, folk traditions, and slavery through verse.
Christian Campbell is a Trinidadian-Bahamian poet and a visiting scholar of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Running the Dusk (2010), which won the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize (UK) and was a finalist for the Forward Prize for the Best First Collection (UK) and the Cave Canem Prize, among many other awards. Running the Dusk was recently translated into Spanish and published in Cuba as Correr el Crepúsculo (2015). Campbell’s work has been published in journals such as The Caribbean Writer, Calabash, Atlanta Review, and the International Poetry Review, among others. He has received awards and fellowships from Cave Canem, the Arvon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf, the Rhodes Trust, and elsewhere. Campbell delivered the fifteenth annual Derek Walcott Lecture for Nobel Laureate Week in St. Lucia and was an invited poet at Poetry Parnassus for London’s Cultural Olympiad. Raised in the Bahamas, Campbell explores Caribbean and Black Diaspora literature and cultures through his poetry.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and visual artist. Her most recent collection of poetry, Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books, 2015) was a finalist for the 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry and the 2015 Balcones Poetry Prize. Griffiths’ literary and visual work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Callaloo, American Poetry Review, Guernica, Lit Hub, and Transition. A Kimbilio and Cave Canem Fellow, Griffiths has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Millay Colony, and the Vermont Studio Center. Currently, Griffiths teaches creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Sarah Lawrence College.
The Program in Creative Writing hosts a number of readings, panels, and lectures throughout the year, including the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series held on select Wednesdays at the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. Upcoming guests include Stephen King, Eileen Myles, Paul Beatty, Marilyn Chin, Douglas Kearney, Kirstin Valdez Quade, John Ashbery, and Jim Jarmusch. The program also hosts The C.K. Williams Reading Series, which presents a public showcase for the work of creative writing thesis students and provides the senior class the opportunity to read with and learn from established writers they admire. In October 2017, the Lewis Center for the Arts will again host the biennial Princeton Poetry Festival, which brings poets across the globe together to share and celebrate the art of poetry.