Lecture and poetry reading: Writing across International Boundaries

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Date/Time:Monday, 09 Feb 2009 at 10:30 am
Location:Sun Room, Memorial Union
Cost:Free
Contact:
Phone:515-294-9934
Channel:Lectures Program
Categories:Lectures
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Poets Jennifer Kwon Dobbs and Heather Derr-Smith share their stories and writings about the environmental degradation and political upheaval they've witnessed around the world.

What are the responsibilities of authors who travel internationally and write on global themes? Is it possible for authors to see the world and represent it beyond the limitations of their own cultural blinders? Jennifer Kwon Dobbs was born in Won Ju Si, South Korea. Her debut collection, Paper Pavilion (2007), received the White Pine Press Poetry Prize. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at St. Olaf College and lives in Minneapolis. Heather Derr-Smith received her undergraduate degree in art history from the University of Virginia and her M.F.A. in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her first poetry collection, Each End of the World, features poems about the Bosnian war in the 1990s.

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs was born in Won Ju Si, South Korea. Her debut collection, Paper Pavilion, received the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and was published in 2007. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals including [i[5 AM,Blackbird, Cadences, Crazyhorse, Cimarron Review, Cream City Review, MiPOesias, Poetry NZ, Tulane Review, and she has been anthologized in Echoes Upon Echoes and Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. Her work has been featured on radio and in film and translated into Greek, Korean, and Turkish. Dobbs' music collaboration with Steven Gates, Among Joshua Trees, won the New York Youth Symphony's First Music Series Award and debuted at Carnegie Hall. She is also the librettist for Anemone, a chamber opera about Korean comfort women. She holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Currently she is an assistant professor of creative writing at St. Olaf College and lives in Minneapolis.

Heather Derr-Smith received her undergraduate degree in art history from the University of Virginia and her M.F.A. in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Derr-Smith's first poetry collection, Each End of the World, features poems about the Bosnian war in the 1990s. Her second collection, The Bride Minaret, journeys to the rough core of desire, creating and destroying binaries along the way. Familiar artifacts of domesticity become as volatile as land mines, and the streets of Damascus, Calcutta, and other faraway locales obliterate the American landscape. In this book, Derr-Smith's poetry transcends time and place, illuminating the ties that bind man to woman, mother to child.

Part of the Fifth Annual Symposium on Wildness, Wilderness, and the Creative Imagination.