March 11, 2024

Reading by Jake Skeets and Princeton Creative Writing Seniors on March 19

Poet Jake Skeets, author of the collection Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, winner of the National Poetry Series, Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and American Book Award, will read from his work at 5:30 p.m. on March 19 in the Drapkin Studio at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton University campus. Ananya Grover, Abbie Lambert, Ethan Luk, Sierra Stern, Grady Trexler, Cathleen Weng, Emmett Willford, Henry Wright, Briony Zhao, and Valeria Zuluaga-Sánchez, seniors in Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing, will also read from their recent work. This event concludes the 2023-2024 C.K. Williams Reading Series, named after the late Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poet C.K. Williams, who served on Princeton’s faculty for 20 years. The series showcases senior students in the Program in Creative Writing alongside established writers as special guests. The event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required. Reserve tickets through University Ticketing. The Drapkin Studio is an accessible venue, and guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at at least one week prior to the event date.

Jake Skeets stands against a wall lit with shadows. He wears glasses and a dark shirt, looking off to the left.

Jake Skeets. Photo credit: Roberto (Bear) Guerra

Jake Skeets is Tsi’naajínii born for Tábąąhá; his maternal grandparents are the Táchii’nii and his paternal grandparents are the Tódík’ózhí. Skeets is from Vanderwagen, New Mexico, and holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. In addition to its three awards, his debut collection, Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, was named a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry and listed among best books of 2019 by LitHub, Buzzfeed, Electric Literature, Entropy Mag, and others. Skeets is a winner of the 2018 Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Contest and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His other honors include a 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize, Mellon Projecting All Voices Fellowship, and Whiting Award. Skeets edits an online publication called Cloudthroat, organizes a Southwest-based poetry salon and reading series called Pollentongue, and is a member of Saad Bee Hózhǫ́: A Diné Writers’ Collective. He is an assistant professor and teaches at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona.

The ten seniors who will read from their work are among 31 Princeton students pursuing certificates in creative writing in addition to their major areas of study. Each is currently working on a novel, a screenplay, translations, or a collection of poems or short stories as part of their creative independent work for the certificate. Starting with the Class of 2025, students can earn a minor in creative writing, rather than a certificate, and will continue to complete a significant creative independent work. Students in the Program in Creative Writing work closely with a member of the faculty, which includes award-winning writers Michael Dickman, Katie Farris, Aleksandar Hemon, A.M. Homes, Ilya Kaminsky, Christina Lazaridi, Yiyun Li, Paul Muldoon, Patricia Smith, Susan Wheeler, and a number of distinguished lecturers and visiting professors.

Visit the Lewis Center website to learn more about the reading series, the Program in Creative Writing, and the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts, lectures, and special events presented by the Lewis Center each year, most of them free.

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