Denison Beck Lecture Series Welcomes Poet Peter Cooley
Posted: April 3, 2006
The Denison University Beck Lecture Series presents poet Peter Cooley at 8 p.m. on Wednesday (April 12) in the Barney Davis Board Room. The lecture, which is the last on this year's Beck Series, is also sponsored by the Ohio Poetry Circuit, and is free and open to the public.
Cooley is director of creative writing and a professor at Tulane University. He has published seven books of poetry, includingThe Company of Strangers. The Room Where Summer Ends, Nightseasons, The Van Gogh Notebook, The Astonished Hours, Sacred Conversations, andA Place Made of Starlight. His eighth volume,Divine Margins, is to be published next year. Cooley's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, Southern Review, and in more than 500 magazines and in 90-some anthologies.
Cooley's process of creating a poem involves first "letting things come up out of the unconscious which will find shape in words, and not thinking particularly about these things as form or as a poem but just as words that are collected."
Commenting on art and on poetry in general, Cooley observes that lyric poetry "gives an intense experience with words, of words, creating experience verbally. It's a small, private experience, through language, with creative reality."
Cooley has taught creative writing and poetry to college students, graduate students, high school, grade school and nursery school students, and to the mentally ill and the incarcerated. "Most recently," says Cooley, "My students and I have been involved in using creative writing to those developing basic literary skills -- those our culture calls 'illiterate'."
Cooley earned his associate bachelor's degree from Shimer College, his master's degree in arts and literature from the University of Chicago, and his doctorate in modern letters from the English department at the University of Iowa, where he was a student in the Writers' Workshop.
The Beck Lecture Series was endowed in memory of Harriet Ewans Beck to bring outstanding writers to the Denison campus. The series has hosted such writers as Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Tom Stoppard and W.S. Merwin. Under the sponsorship fund, each year 10 to 12 writers read from their works and participate in master classes.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Beck Lecture Series presents poet Peter Cooley; 8 p.m., Wednesday (April 12), Barney Davis Board Room (200 West Loop). Free and open to the public. Call 740-587-6207 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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