SCC Celebrates National Poetry Month with Rita Mae Reese


Southeastern Community College will celebrate April as National Poetry Month by hosting a Visiting Writers Series event on Saturday, April 20, at 8 p.m. Rita Mae Reese, a nationally acclaimed and award-winning author, is scheduled to read. SCC's Culture on Campus Committee and Di Dante Literature & Writing Club will co-host the event.

SCC English & Creative Writing Professor 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 333, on SCC's West Burlington campus and will be followed by a brief question and answer session with the author.

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. "Rita Mae Reese 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."

Burm continues, "Much credit should go to 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 this caliber."

Reese was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and her Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Florida State University and then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Reese is the author of the poetry collections The Book of Hulga, which won the Felix Pollak Prize, and The Alphabet Conspiracy, which won the 2012 Drake Emerging Writers Award. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her work is featured in Robert Olen Butler's From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction and Poetry from Sojourner: A Feminist Anthology. Her honors include a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, the Paumanok Poetry Award, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and a Discovery/the Nation award.

In a 2011 NewPages review, Alissa Fleck observed, "Rita Mae Reese's The Alphabet Conspiracy is a book replete with anecdotes and snapshots of memory, ranging in subject matter from the religious to the informatively historical to the contemporary, which thoroughly [explores] both the whimsy and restrictions of language."

All Visiting Writers Series events are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Guests are encouraged to arrive and be seated by 7:45 p.m. Free refreshments will be provided at the close of the presentation.

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

A file photo of Rita Mae Reese is available at this location

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