Reading features ‘natural’ selection

by Rachel Burns
Staff Writer

Transylvania’s office of sustainability and the Writing Center have teamed up with the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning for a poetry reading by high-caliber writers.

The Carnegie Center is opening its doors Oct. 20 for the public to enjoy this free event, “Writing the Landscape: A Poetry Reading.” From 6 to 7:15 p.m., five writers will present their work: Carrie Green, Bianca Spriggs, Lisa Williams, George Ella Lyon and Richard Taylor.

“Every writer on the bill is top-notch,” said Dr. Scott Whiddon, director of the Writing Center. “All have national-level publications and accolades. I deeply respect each writer’s work. If you’ve never attended a poetry event before, this would be a fantastic first experience.”

Spriggs ’03 attended Transylvania and has since taught on various aspects of writing. She received an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, as did Green, an author whose work has been published in national journals.

Williams, an associate professor of English at Centre College, has received a wide range of awards and fellowships, such as the Rome Prize in Literature and a Henry Hoynes fellowship in poetry. Lyon has published poetry and fiction for all ages and teaches writing workshops.

Taylor, a former Kentucky Poet Laureate and the current Kennan Visiting Writer at Transylvania, completes the group. For the 2011-2012 academic year, Taylor is teaching courses on poetry.

All of these writers have a strong connection to Kentucky and many of the poems they will be sharing have an environmental focus.

Oct. 20 has been officially recognized as the National Day on Writing, a date established to bring attention to the types and significance of writing to the American public.

According to the National Council of Teachers of English, this celebration “encourages Americans to write and enjoy and learn from the writing of others.”

“Writing the Landscape” is part of this holiday.

Whiddon mentioned his past experience with bringing together different writers for events like this, joking that it resembles booking bands. He succinctly described the privilege Transy has of being located so near the Carnegie Center.

“We’re lucky to have the Carnegie Center near our campus — it’s been an important literacy resource for decades here in Lexington,” Whiddon said.

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