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The Poetry Break: Mitchell L. H. Douglas

Mitchell L. H. Douglas is an Associate Professor of English, and the director of the creative writing program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He is also a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets , a Cave Canem fellow, and Poetry Editor for PLUCK!: the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture . Douglas was recently a featured poet as part of the ongoing Wheeling Poetry Series where he read from his second poetry collection \blak\ \al-fə bet\, published by...


The Poetry Break: William Bronk

West Virginia's poet laureate Marc Harshman highlights here work of the late William Bronk. Bronk won the National Book Award for poetry in 1981 long before his death in 1999. Do not look to Bronk for metaphor or imagery, but instead - masterful use of syntax to evoke nuances of life. Harshman pulls some of the spare poetry of the New York native William Bronk in this month's Poetry Break.


The Poetry Break: Steve Scafidi

As a young man Steve Scafidi hungered "for something like magnificence." Or so he explained when asked by Marc Harshman how he came to writing poetry. "I found it reading aloud some Walt Whitman one evening and I never quit," Scafidi said in conversation with Harshman. "I remember thinking to myself, 'my life is changing here but don't make a big deal out of this -- just follow the thread of it.' And I did." Scafidi is a cabinet maker in the Eastern Panhandle. He encourages aspiring...


The Poetry Break: Nikki Giovanni

She was born in Knoxville and raised in Cincinnati. The poems of Nikki Giovanni reflect her pride as both a black American woman, and an author with deep roots in Appalachia. She is revered not only for her poetry but for her work as essayist, children’s author, activist, and teacher. The recipient of 7 NAACP Image Awards, the Langston Hughes medal, a Grammy nominee, National Book Award finalist – her achievements are unique and impressive.


The Poetry Break: Jayne Anne Phillips

Jayne Anne Phillips is one of the finest novelists living in America today. Her many books have garnered honors that include being a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, short listed for the prestigious Orange Prize, one of the Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly, a New York Times Best Seller and many, many others.


The Poetry Break: Jeff Mann

Raised in Covington, Virginia, and Hinton West Virginia, Jeff Mann is an author of novels, essays, short fiction, a memoir, and poems. A significant portion of his work examines the LGBTQ experience, especially as witnessed in Appalachia. He’s won many awards for his work including a Rainbow Award for Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War , as well as the John Preston Short Fiction Award and many others. Mann is currently associate professor in creative writing at Virginia Tech.


The Poetry Break: Maggie Anderson

This month's Poetry Break features the work of Maggie Anderson. "Maggie Anderson is that rare gift [to all writers] in that she is held in equal esteem as not only a superlative poet but a superlative teacher," said March Harshman. "Professor Emerita and past Director of the Wick Poetry Program at Kent State University, she is the author of many highly acclaimed volumes of poetry."