UMass Boston News

2011 Global Voices Reading Series

Fall 2011 Global Voices Reading Series

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 10 a.m. Campus Center, Ballroom C (3550C): Writer and critic Don Bogen earned his PhD in English from the University of California-Berkeley. He is the author of the poetry collections After the Splendid Display (1986), The Known World (1997), Luster (2003), and An Algebra (2009). Bogen is the author of a study on Theodore Roethke, A Necessary Order: Theodore Roethke and the Writing Process (1991). He has also written about John Haines for the anthology The Wilderness of Vision: On the Poetry of John Haines (1996) and contributed a chapter on Josephine Miles to Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems (2006). His reviews have appeared in The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and other venues. Bogen’s awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Camargo Foundation and an Ingram Merrill Foundation Grant. He received a Fulbright Senior Lectureship to Spain and the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award to Queen’s University in Belfast. He is a professor at the University of Cincinnati and poetry editor of The Cincinnati Review.

Presented by the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences & The Creative Writing Program:  Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. Ryan Lounge:  Born in Basra, Amir Al-Azraki received his BA from University of Basra and his MA from Baghdad University and he is now a PhD candidate in Theatre Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada. During the first years of the Iraq War (2003-2006), Mr. Al-Azraki, in addition to teaching English drama at the University of Basra, worked as a fixer and translator for various international news outlets such as The New York Times and The Dallas Morning News, later working for Al Mirbad TV and Radio run by the BBC World Service Trust. In the last three years Mr. Al-Azraki has taught modern and Western Drama at York University as he works on his dissertation "The Representation of Political Violence in Contemporary Plays About Iraq" and continues to develop a collaboration between the University of Basra, the Central School of Speech and Drama, and the University of London on "Transforming the Learning Environment Through Forum Theatre: Developing a Basra University Model." Mr. Al-Azraki is also a performer and playwright and he has presented papers at F.O.O.T., Performing Back: A Conference on Post-Colonial Theatre. Among his plays are: Waiting for Gilgamesh: Scenes from Iraq, Stuck, Notorious Women, Lysistrata in Iraq, Home Woes, and Judgement Day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11 a.m. Campus Center 3545Afaa Michael Weaver was born Michael S. Weaver and grew up in East Baltimore, the son of a beautician and a steelworker. He entered the University of Maryland–College Park at the age of 16 and studied engineering for two years. He then joined the Army Reserves and worked alongside his father at the Bethlehem Steel mill. Weaver worked at the mill and, later, a factory for a total of 15 years, writing poetry on coffee breaks, before publishing his first collection, Water Song (1985). He then earned an MA in theater and playwriting from Brown University, concurrent with a BA from Excelsior College. Weaver’s collections of poetry include The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005 (2007). He edited the anthology These Hands I Know: African-American Writers on Family (2002), and co-edited Gathering Voices (1985) with James Taylor and David Beaudouin. Weaver has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He was a Poet-in-Residence at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center and taught as a Fulbright Fellow at National Taiwan University. He has taught at Rutgers University, Cave Canem, and Simmons College, where he co-founded the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center and launched the International Chinese Poetry Conference. In 1999, he was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. He is the Senior Distinguished Poet in the Graduate Writing Program at NYU.


Monday, October 24, 2011 at 1 p.m. Campus Center 3545:  Jennifer Haigh graduated from Dickinson College with a B.A. in French and went on to earn her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers Workshop. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Condition; Baker Towers, winner of the 2006 PEN/L.L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author; and Mrs. Kimble, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Her most recent novel, Faith, was published in spring 2011. Her short stories have appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, the Saturday Evening Post, and many other publications. In spring 2010 Haigh was a Visiting Writer at UMB’s MFA Program. She lives in the Boston area. (Photo credit: Marion Ettinger)                           

Monday, November 7, 2011 at 2:15 p.m. Healey Library, 11th floor:  Four early career writers join us for our Global Voices Panel: Publishing the First Book.   Fiction writers Alex Gilvarry and Liz Moore and poets Cecily Parks and Adam Vines discuss their experiences in publishing their first books. Alex Gilvarry is a native of Staten Island, NY. He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Hunter College and his first novel, From the Memoirs of a Non-enemy Combatant, is due out in January. Liz Moore is an Assistant Professor at Holy Family University in Philadelphia. Her first novel, The Words of Every Song, was released in 2007. Her second novel, HEFT, is due out in January. Poet Cecily Parks joined the UMass Boston English faculty this fall. Her debut poetry collection, Field Folly Snow, was published in 2008. Adam Vines is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His first poetry collection, The Coal Life, will be published in Spring 2012.

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