UW MFA Creative Writing Program Hosts Two Eminent Writers in Residence

September 16, 2010
Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst

Two poets are the latest Eminent Writers in Residence in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Wyoming.

Poets Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst will read from their works at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, at the UW Art Museum. The event is free and open to the public, followed by a book signing.

Their interdisciplinary lecture series, "Literary Polyphony and Ecological Thought," will be Oct. 4, 6 and 8, in the UW Classroom Building, Room 222. Each 50-minute lecture begins at noon, followed by discussion. The lectures are open to the public.

Zwicky is widely published as an essayist about issues in music, poetry, philosophy and the environment. She has taught creative writing and philosophy, lecturing across North America and Europe. Her books of poetry include "Songs for Relinquishing the Earth," which won the Governor General's Award in 1999, and "Robinson's Crossing," which received the Dorothy Livesay Prize.

Her books of philosophy include "Lyric Philosophy, Wisdom & Metaphor," and, most recently, "Plato as Artist." Zwicky's work has been translated into French, Spanish, Czech and Serbo-Croatian.

Bringhurst has published nearly 20 books of poetry during a four-decade period. Born in Los Angeles, but raised mainly in Montana and Alberta, Canada, Bringhurst is the son of a Wyoming native -- his father was born near Garland -- and spent many summers as a child in Lovell.

He has lectured about poetry, typography and Native American literature at universities worldwide. His seminal work, "The Elements of Typographic Style," has been translated into 10 languages and is relied on by both design schools and publishers.

Bringhurst in 1999 published the groundbreaking study of Native American oral literature, "A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World." Two volumes of translation followed: "Nine Visits to the Mythworld" and "Being in Being: The Collected Works of Skaay of the Qquuna Qiighawaay." This trilogy won the prestigious Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology and was chosen as Literary Editor's Book of the Year by the Times of London.

"I am excited that we have access to the eminent writers Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst. They are true visionaries," says Harvey Hix, MFA faculty member. "They see writing and reading, poetry and mythology and philosophy and science as integral participants in the making whole of a life that seeks a healthy, ecological relationship to nature, to its own limits to civil society."

During their UW residency, Zwicky and Bringhurst will visit UW classes, meet with students, offer additional lectures for UW Anthropology and Philosophy departments and give readings in Cheyenne, Casper and Jackson. Their residency will be followed by the celebrated nonfiction writer Rebecca Solnit in January.

For more information about all the events and the Eminent Writer in Residence Program, visit the MFA Web site at www.uwyo.edu/creativewriting or e-mail Beth Loffreda, MFA Program director, at loffreda@uwyo.edu.

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