DePaul’s Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society, is hosting a poetry open mic night with special guest Debra Bruce on Friday, May 31st from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Arts & Letters Hall room 404. During the first hour, students are welcome to read their original works of poetry, no registration necessary. For the second half of the event, Debra Bruce will be reading from her recently published collection of poems, Survivor’s Picnic.
Debra Bruce’s fourth book of poetry, Survivors’ Picnic, is just out from Word Press/Word Tech Editions. Her previous collections include Pure Daughter and Sudden Hunger, both from the University of Arkansas Press, and What Wind Will Do, from Miami University Press. She has published widely in journals including The Atlantic, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, and others.
Bruce’s writing has received the Carl Sandburg Poetry Award, as well as grants and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, Poetry Society of America, and Poetry magazine. She is a professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.
The rich language of Debra Bruce’s Survivors’ Picnic—whether she’s meditating on cancer survival, describing the nervous colleagues of a transgendered secretary, or playfully satirizing a divorce support group—is sensual in its caress of the world, its music cascading into semi-formal free verse as well as sonnets, villanelles, and pantoums.
“Survivors Picnic is full of generous poems, their rifts loaded with ore. From pithy narratives to evocative lyrics, these are poems that can take us out of ourselves, by a poet who has learned her art, who knows that poetry is song at heart. Brava, Debra Bruce!”–Annie Finch
“Debra Bruce’s poetry is a secret treasure–to be discovered and read and re-read. Every lover of language can partake of Bruce’s passionate picnic.” — Molly Peacock
Be sure to check out the event’s Facebook page, facebook.com/events/155132487992980
The Visiting Writers Series is excited to announce that their next reading will be by DePaul’s own Barrie Jean Borich. Please join them on Thursday, May 21st, at 6:00 p.m. in the Richardson Library room 115 to hear Borich read from and discuss her newest work, Body Geographic.
Barrie Jean Borich is the author of My Lesbian Husband, winner of the American Library Association Stonewall Book Award. Her new book, Body Geographic is published in the American Lives Series of the University of Nebraska Press. She’s the recipient of the 2010 Florida Review Editor’s Prize in the Essay and the 2010 Crab Orchard Review Literary Nonfiction Prize, and her work has been named Notable in Best American Essays and Best American Non-Required Reading. She was the first nonfiction editor of the Water~Stone Review and a longtime faculty member in the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is currently a member of the creative writing faculty of the English Department and the MA in Writing and Publishing program at Chicago’s DePaul University and splits her time between Minneapolis and Chicago.
One coordinate of Borich’s story is Chicago, the prototypical Great Lakes port city built by immigrants like her great-grandfather Big Petar, and the other is her own port of immigration, Minneapolis, the combined skylines of these two cities tattooed on Borich’s own back. Between Chicago and Minneapolis Borich maps her own Midwest, a true heartland in which she measures the distance between the dreams and realities of her own life, her family’s, and her fellow travelers’ in the endless American migration. Covering rough terrain—from the hardships of her immigrant ancestors to the travails of her often-drunk young self, longing to be madly awake in the world, from the changing demographics of midwestern cities to the personal transformations of coming out and living as a lesbian—Body Geographic is cartography of high literary order, plotting routes, real and imagined, and putting an alternate landscape on the map.
“Body Geographic is as astonishingly original as it is profoundly humane. Barrie Jean Borich writes of the body, the psyche, the land, and real life with a reach so grand and a mastery so definitive it clutches the heart. This is a beautiful, bold, blow-your-mind book.”–Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
This event is free and open to the public.