Washington and Lee's Glasgow Endowment will co-sponsor with VMI a public reading by poet Steve Scafidi on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 7:45 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. During his visit to Lexington, Scafidi also will speak to two classes at VMI.
Scafidi's reading is free and is open to the public and will be followed by a book signing. The reading is co-sponsored by VMI's Department of English, Rhetoric and Humanistic Studies.
Scafidi won the 2013 Miller Williams Poetry Prize from the University of Arkansas Press, which will publish his third book, "The Bramble and the Briar," next spring. The collection is an extended sequence of poems about Abraham Lincoln.
Scafidi's previous books are "Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer" and "For Love of Common Words." R. T. Smith, editor of "Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee Review," says of Scafidi's works "He is by turns dramatic, elegiac and comic. His poems are always surprising, linguistically exciting and sometimes alarming. His is not the staid academic or bewildering puzzle poetry of current fad. To my mind, he's right at the heart of the topics and tactics that have always mattered most to lovers of the written word."
Born and raised in Virginia, Scafidi holds a M.F.A. in creative writing from Arizona State University and works as a cabinet maker in Summit, W.Va. He occasionally teaches at Johns Hopkins University and has received the James Boatwright Prize from "Shenandoah," as well as the Larry Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University's English Department. His poems have also appeared in "Blackbird," "Southern Review" and "Virginia Quarterly Review."
About the future of poetry, Scafidi said in an interview with "The Writer's Chronicle," "It will involve magic and reality and suffering. It will be a thing of power and reckoning that sustains us. It will be beautiful."
For further information, contact Lesley Wheeler at (540) 458-8758.