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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Louise McNeill Centennial Celebration

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall University Visiting Writers Series will present a centennial celebration of the late West Virginia Poet Laureate Louise McNeill on Monday, April 4.

The celebration will feature noted area poets Mark DeFoe, Marianne Worthington, Devon McNamara and Chris Green. They will present a panel on the life and work of McNeill at 3:30 p.m. and a tribute poetry reading at 7:30 p.m. Both events will take place in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center on MU's Huntington campus.

Until her death in 1993, McNeill was West Virginia Poet Laureate for 16 years. Her work was widely published in national magazines like Atlantic Monthly and Saturday Review during her lifetime. Hill Daughter, her selected poems, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1991, and her poems continue to be anthologized. A new edition of her seminal work, Paradox Hill, was published by West Virginia University Press in 2009.

DeFoe is the author of nine chapbooks of poems. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies. He has conducted workshops for writers of all ages and has read his work at colleges, libraries and art centers. DeFoe has received two Artists Fellowships from the state of West Virginia. He isprofessor emeritus at West Virginia Wesleyan University.

McNamara's poems, essays and reviews have appeared widely in literary journals. Her new poetry collection is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry of Ireland. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council and from the Yaddo Arts Community. She has conducted writing workshops throughout West Virginia and has served on the Governor's Task Force on Arts in Education. She is Professor of English, Irish Literature, and Creative Writing at West Virginia Wesleyan University.

Green, a poet and scholar, is the author of Rushlight, a new collection of poems. He co-edited Coal: A Poetry Anthology and recently published a major historical study of race and social justice in Appalachian writing, The Social Life of Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan). He teaches writing and literature in Marshall University's English department.

Worthington is the author of Larger Bodies Than Mine, which was chosen for the New Women's Voices Series and received the 2007 Appalachian Book of the Year Award in Poetry. She has published both poems and non-fiction in a variety of literary and scholarly journals. She is an associateprofessor of Communication Arts and Journalism at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.

The panel and reading are free and open to the public. The Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Marshall English Department, the College of Liberal Arts and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

For more information, contact Art Stringer in Marshall's English Department at 304-696-2403 304-696-2403 .