SCC Celebrates National Poetry Month with Joanne Diaz


Southeastern Community College will celebrate April as National Poetry Month by hosting a Visiting Writers Series event on Saturday, April 16, at 8:00 p.m. Scheduled to read is Professor Joanne Diaz, a nationally acclaimed and award-winning author. SCC’s Culture on Campus Committee and Di Dante Literature & Writing Club will co-host the event.

SCC English & Creative Writing Instructor and Di Dante Advisor Charles Burm notes, “Members of SCC’s Culture on Campus Committee feel it is important to provide our students and the greater community with cultural opportunities that otherwise may be difficult to access. It is our honor and pleasure to bring this distinguished writer to our campus.”

The reading will be held in the Little Theatre, Room 433, on SCC’s West Burlington campus and will be followed by a brief question and answer session with the author. All Visiting Writers Series events are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Therefore, guests are encouraged to arrive and be seated by 7:45 p.m. Free refreshments will be provided at the close of the presentation.

Burm is quick in promoting the talent of the guest poet and the cooperative efforts of multiple organizations to make SCC’s Visiting Writers Series successful. “Joanne Diaz has gathered much praise and has earned many awards for her writing. Her work has been widely published, and she is highly regarded in her field. We are fortunate to have her with us to celebrate National Poetry Month.”

In a 2011 review of Diaz’s collection The Lessons, Bracha Goykadosh says, “As a poet, Diaz trusts her readers to understand; she conveys the electric, what we feel and are jolted by, but cannot ever fully grasp in words or phrases.”

Reviewing a later work, My Favorite Tyrants, Matt Larrimore says, “It is an exceptional collection mastering craft, including syntax and form, as well as management of line. It is remarkable for its use of theme and the poet’s power of description. It is a book worth adding to your poetry collection.” Reviewer Katie Rensch adds, “My Favorite Tyrants by Joanne Diaz is a must read. These poems are diverse, humble, witty, smart, and always striking. Diaz so wonderfully explores the many voices of the poet, a voice that ends on a note of strength and hope.”

Burm continues, “Much credit should go to the Burlington Area Arts Council, the Burlington Fine Arts League, the Society of Great River Poets, the SCC Foundation, and many area businesses and individuals for supporting SCC’s Culture on Campus Committee, the Visiting Writers Series, and Di Dante Literature & Writing Club students and projects. Through cooperative institutional and community efforts, we are able to host a writer of Professor Diaz’s caliber.”

Joanne Diaz is the author of My Favorite Tyrants (winner of the Brittingham Prize, University of Wisconsin Press, 2014), The Lessons (winner of the Gerald Cable First Book Award, Silverfish Review Press, 2011), and, with Ian Morris, she is the co-editor of The Little Magazine in America (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, The American Poetry Review, At Length, The Missouri Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, and Third Coast. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Ms. Diaz is the interview editor for The Spoon River Poetry Review, where she has conducted interviews with Linda Gregerson, Roger Reeves, Rachel Webster, and Jacob Saenz. As a contributor to the Bedford / St. Martins LitBits Blog, she shares her insights on literature, writing, and pedagogy. She is an associate professor in the English department at Illinois Wesleyan University.

For more information, contact Charles Burm: (319) 208-5230 or

A press photo is of Joanne is available here:

For more news or to learn about Southeastern Community College, visit: