The Dates    
21 September
  MARJORIE WELISH > 4:30 Soderberg Auditorium
30 September
  FANNY HOWE > 8PM Neville 100
07 October
  COLE SWENSEN > 4:30 Soderberg
19 October
TONY LOPEZ > & GEOFFREY YOUNG > 4:30 Neville 100
29 October
  TOMSON HIGHWAY > 5PM Minsky Recital Hall
04 November
  ALICE NOTLEY > 8PM Minsky Recital Hall
18 November
  DEVIN JOHNSTON > & ANDREW JORON > 4:30 Soderberg

All poetry events are free and open to the public. • The New Writing Series is supported by the English Department of the University of Maine, the National Poetry Foundation, the Honors College, and grants from the Cultural Affairs Committee. • A map of the University of Maine campus can be found here.

  The Poets    

Poet, painter and critic Marjorie Welish is the author of several books, most recently The Annotated 'Here'  and Selected Poems (an Academy of American Poets Lenore Marshall Prize finalist) and Word Group, both from Coffee House Press. The subject of an all-day conference at the University of Pennsylvania, her writing and art and the papers they inspired have now become a book: Of the Diagram: The Work of Marjorie Welish, published by Slought Foundation. She has taught at Brown University, The New School University and at Pratt Institute. In 2005 she will be Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellow at Cambridge University.

Photo credit: Star Black

    Fanny Howe is the author, most recently, of Tis of Thee (Atelos, 2003), Gone (U of California, 2003), Economics, and a collection of essays, The Wedding Dress: Meditations on Word and Life (U of California, 2004). Of the latter, Mark Jay Mirsky, editor of Fiction, writes: "Fanny Howe's latest book is a primer for the mind America does not know it has. Her prose is utterly simple and truthful yet rings with the formal elegance of past centuries. These pages are a dazzling handbook on the riddles of language, breath and speech. At every moment in the book Fanny is present, precise, mischievous, awesome, a companion in arms to her readers. When she turns with us to address the Unknown, she brings us face to face as no other writer I know can do." Thanks to the UMaine Honors College for cosponsoring Howe's visit.
    Cole Swensen has published nine volumes of poetry, the most recent being Goest from Alice James Books, 2004. Others include Such Rich Hour (U of Iowa, 2001), and Try (U of Iowa, 1999), which won the 1998 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2000 San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award. She also translates contemporary French poetry, prose, and art criticism. Books include Art Poetic and Future, Former, Fugitive by Olivier Cadiot; Natural Gaits and OXO by Pierre Alferi; Bayart by Pascalle Monnier, and The Island of the Dead by Jean Fremon, which won the 2004 PEN West Award for Literary Translation. Swensen teaches in the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, where her courses focus on contemporary poetry and book arts. She divides her time between Iowa, Washington DC, and Paris.
    Tony Lopez is the author of Devolution (The Figures), Data Shadow (Reality Street), False Memory (Salt) and many other books. A freelance fiction writer for newspapers and magazines in the early 1970s, he published five crime and science fiction novels with New English library between 1973 and 1977, after which he returned to school and focused his efforts as a poet. He attended the University of Essex (BA 1980) and Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge (PhD 1986). During the 1980s he made a series of performance art events that were staged in Cambridge, Liverpool, Edinburgh, London and Amsterdam. Since the mid-1990s, Lopez's poetry has won an increasing readership in the US. Lopez was appointed the first professor of poetry at the University of Plymouth in 2000.

Geoffrey Young is the author of Subject to Fits, Pockets of Wheat, Rocks and Deals, and, most recently, of Lights Out. He was until last year the publisher of the legendary press The Figures and responsible in that capacity for bringing into the world scores of sharply-designed volumes by innovative writers like Clark Coolidge, Michael Gizzi, Stephen Rodefer, and Elaine Equi, to mention only some poets who have already appeared in the New Writing Series. Long involved in the arts, Young currently runs the Geoffrey Young Gallery in the Berkshires.

  Fourth son (and eleventh child) of legendary caribou hunter and world championship dogsled racer, Joe Highway, Tomson Highway is a Cree Indian born and raised in far north Manitoba. Musically educated (as a pianist), he writes, these days, plays, novels, and music for a living. Among his best known of many works to date are the plays, The Rez Sisters, Dry Lips Outghta Move to Kapuskasing, Rose, and the novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen, all award winners or nominees or hits or bestsellers of one sort or another. He speaks, in order, the languages Cree, music, French, and English and divides his year equally between a cottage in northern Ontario and an apartment in the south of France.
    Alice Notley, who first read in the NWS in the fall of 2001, returns this fall for a week-long residency. Notley is the author of Disobedience (which won the international Griffin Prize in 2002), The Mysteries of Small Houses, and The Descent of Alette (all from Penguin), along with many other volumes. With Douglas Oliver, Notley edited the magazine Gare du Nord. In the past two years, Notley and her sons Anselm and Edward Berrigan have co-edited The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan, which is forthcoming from the University of California in 2005. For a conversation between Notley and Claudia Keelan recently published in the APR, click here. Thanks to the UMaine Honors College for cosponsoring Notley's visit.
    Devin Johnston is the author of two books of poetry, Aversions (Omnidawn, 2004) and Telepathy (Paper Bark, 2001). He has also published a book of criticism entitled Precipitations: Contemporary American Poetry as Occult Practice (Wesleyan University Press, 2002). From 1995-2000, he served as poetry editor for Chicago Review, and with Michael O'Leary, he now directs a small press called Flood Editions. Raised in North Carolina, he currently lives in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he teaches at Saint Louis University.
    Andrew Joron's Fathom (Black Square, 2003) was a VLS favorite book for 2003. He is also the author of The Removes (Hard Press, 1999). His essay "Neo-Surrealism; or, the Sun at Night: Transformations of Surrealism in American Poetry, 1966-1999" was published as a chapbook by Hard Press earlier this year. Of Fathom, the Village Voice says: "Joron's second book is a startling series of language games and meditations, committed to the political possibilities of new poetry and the terrors of a long fall where 'the last line listens to its endlessness.' Hermetic as in Hermes, of the swift and mysterious messages."