March 10, 2017

Lewis Center for the Arts presents a Reading with Award-Winning Writers Douglas Kearney and Kirstin Valdez Quade

On Wednesday, March 15, writers Douglas Kearney and Kirstin Valdez Quade will read from their work as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, presented by the Program in Creative Writing at the Lewis Center for the Arts. The reading, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center, is free and open to the public.

douglas kearney

Poet and librettist Douglas Kearney. Photo by Eric Plattner

Douglas Kearney is a poet and librettist whose collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and, was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” His third poetry collection, Patter, was a finalist for the California Book Award in Poetry and examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood. Cultural critic Greg Tate remarked that Kearney’s second book, the National Poetry Series selection The Black Automaton, “flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity and book learning.” Someone Took They Tongues collects several of Kearney’s libretti, including one written in a counterfeit Afro-diasporic language. In addition, Kearney was the guest editor for 2015’s Best American Experimental Writing. He has received a Whiting Award, as well as residencies and fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. His work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including Poetry, nocturnes, Pleiades, Iowa Review, Boston Review, Indiana Review, Best American Poetry, Best American Experimental Writing, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, The Breakbeat Poets, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Poets in America. Kearney teaches at California Institute of the Arts.

Kirstin Valdez Quade

Fiction writer and Princeton faculty member Kirstin Valdez Quade. Photo by Maggie Shipstead

Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, which received the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. It was a New York Times Notable Book and was named a best book of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the American Library Association. Quade is also the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the 2013 Narrative Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Narrative, Guernica, The Southern Review, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she also taught as a Jones Lecturer. She has been on the faculty in the M.F.A. programs at University of Michigan and Warren Wilson. She joined the faculty of Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing in September.

The Lewis Center’s Program in Creative Writing annually presents the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, which provides an opportunity for students, as well as all in the greater Princeton region, to hear and meet the best writers of contemporary poetry and fiction. All readings are free and open to the public, and they take place on select Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. Other readings scheduled in the 2016-2017 series include:

  • John Ashbery and Jim Jarmusch on April 19
  • Spring semester student reading on May 3
  • Reading by Program in Creative Writing seniors poetry, translation, and screenwriting on May 8
  • Reading by Program in Creative Writing seniors in fiction on May 10

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