Ellen Bryant Voigt, recent Poet Laureate for the state of Vermont and author of six books of poetry, will give a public reading at the Cleveland Hall Alumnae House across Main Street from the Converse College campus on Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. The reading is open to the public and is free of charge. For more information, contact Richard Mulkey at (864) 596-9099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A member of the Converse Class of 1964, Voigt is author of Claiming Kin (Wesleyan University Press), The Forces of Plenty (Carnegie Mellon Press), The Lotus Flowers (Carnegie Mellon Press), Two Trees (W.W. Norton), Kyrie (W.W. Norton and a National Book Critics’ Circle Award Finalist), and most recently, Shadow of Heaven (W.W. Norton and a National Book Award Finalist)-as well as The Flexible Lyric (University of Georgia Press), a collection of essays. During her visit to Spartanburg, she will be reading from Shadow of Heaven.
In March of this year, Voigt completed her four-year term as Poet Laureate for the state of Vermont. She has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund. In 2002, the Academy of American Poets named her the recipient of the 67th Academy of American Poets Merrill Fellowship.
When Voigt came to Converse as a student, her dream was to become a high school band director. After taking a few English courses, however, she started down a different path that would lead her to notoriety as one of the country’s most talented poets. “I came to Converse because of the School of Music, and had not even written my first poem,” says Ellen. “The faculty members of the English department ignited that spark.”
Voigt’s visit to Spartanburg is funded through the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Visiting Writers Series, a program that brings award-winning writers and scholars from a variety of genres to the Converse College campus each year to give free public readings, and interact with students of literature and creative writing.