By Travis Wood
The University of Nebraska at Omaha will welcome alumna and award-winning poet Erin Belieu to kick-off the annual Writer’s Workshop Reading Series this Wednesday.
Belieu is recognized internationally for her work in creative writing. She’ll be the first of five acclaimed authors to speak at this year’s reading series, which is at 7:30 p.m. in the art gallery of the Weber Fine Arts Building. The free event is open to the public.
Miles Waggener, an associate professor in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, spoke highly of Belieu.
“She’s an unbelievable witty and engaging speaker. Her poems can be sad and funny at the same time,” Waggener said. “If you can come to see her, you won’t be disappointed.”
Belieu’s first book, Infanata, was published in 1995 and recognized by the National Poetry Series for excellence in contemporary poetry. Her second book, “One Above & One Below,” won an award in poetry for The Society of Mid- lands Authors, and her third book, “Black Box,” was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist. Her latest collection of poetry, “Slant Six,” was released in November 2014.
Belieu also co-published the “Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women” with another UNO alumna, Susan Aizenberg. The book is an anthology of 400 poems by more than 100 poets to commemorate female American poetry. Aizenberg herself will be participating in the Writer’s Work- shop Reading Series on Oct. 14.
Belieu co-founded VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts with fellow poets Cate Marvin and Ann Townsend. The organization collects annual data on how often female writers are published compared to male writers.
Belieu currently serves as the di- rector of the Masters of Fine Arts Writing Program at Florida State University.
Anna Monardo, a professor and organizer of the reading series, said Belieu can give new insight and inspiration to UNO students.
“For the students, what could be more inspiring?” Monardo said. “She’s paved the path, and it’s different for every writer… but she has a lot of wisdom about the two sides of a creative writing career, which are the actual writing and then the publishing.”
WRITER’S WORKSHOP READING SERIES
What: Award-winning poet Erin Belieu will perform a sampling of her work, followed by a question-and-answer session.
When: Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: The art gallery in the Weber Fine Arts Building at UNO.
For More Information: 402-554-2406