Monday, July 16th, 2018

USM to celebrate poetry in Glickman Library

Posted on October 23, 2017 in Uncategorized
By USM Free Press

Cormac Riordan

Every spring, the University of Southern Maine English Department faculty members start to select who will be the O’Brien poet for the upcoming year. This year it is none other than Cheryl Savageau, a Fellowship-award winning Massachusetts poet. She has written three collections of poetry, a children’s book, and has a memoir coming out next year. She will be reading selections from her most recent work, Mother/Land, on Wednesday, October 25 at 5 pm on the 7th floor of the Glickman Family Library, freely for the public. Prior to this, there will be a Q&A session and book signing with Savageau from 3:30 to 4:30. The Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library, or the Glickman Library for short, where this event will take place, was dedicated by Governor Angus King in 1997. It stands at 7 stories, named after the family who donated a million dollars towards building the final 3 floors.

The O’Brien Award is named after Katherine E. O’Brien, a Deering High School math teacher. She left a sum of money to the University of Maine System, some of which was designated for the schools’s libraries to purchase volumes of poetry and establish this annual reading series. Her poetry work can be read in Special Collections at the Glickman Library. The USM Libraries and the USM Department of English, under the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, sponsor the annual O’Brien Poet Reading. Former recipients of the award include: Charles Simic, Paul Muldoon, Jorie Graham, Caroline Forche, Terrance Hayes, Li-Young Lee, Frank Bidart, Jean Valentine, Brigit Kelly, David Wojahn and Matthea Harvey, last year’s poet. This will be the 19th year the event has run.

Savageau graduated from Clark University in 1978, where she began writing “by accident” when she signed up for a poetry class through Continuing Education to finish her degree, and it turned out to be a writing class. Her apprenticeship as a writer was through the People’s Poets and Artists Workshop in Worcester, MA, which was started by the poet Etheridge Knight in 1977. Cheryl worked for several years as a poet and storyteller in the schools through the Massachusetts Artist in Residence program. Her work has appeared in literary journals including AGNI, The Massachusetts Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Cape Cod Review, Indiana Review, River Styx, Hinchas de Poesia, and Pentimento. Her poetry in An Ear to the Ground, Poetry Like Bread, The Eye of the Deer, Living in Storms, and other anthologies and is forthcoming in Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, University of Georgia Press (Fall 2017.) This will be her first reading at the University of Southern Maine.

For more information, please contact the University of Southern Maine Department of English at 311 Luther Bonney Hall, 85 Bedford Street, or call and email at 207-780-4117 and harjula@maine.edu, respectively.

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