Poet Aimée Nezhukumatathil will be the featured reader on the first night of Hartwick College’s two-evening New American Writing Festival. Nezhukumatathil will present her work at 8 p.m. today.
Also part of the Festival, the Tuesday showcase reading scheduled for 8 p.m. includes poets Bertha Rogers, Kirby Olson, Jamie Ormiston, Rob Hunter (Hartwick class of 1986) and Hartwick College Visiting Assistant Professor of English Brent DeLanoy.
Both readings will be held in the Celebration Room of Shineman Chapel House on the Hartwick College campus. This event is free, and the public is invited to attend.
Nezhukumatathil is the author of three books of poetry: “Lucky Fish” (2011), winner of the Hoffer Grand Prize for Prose and Independent Books; “At the Drive-In Volcano” (2007); and “Miracle Fruit” (2003). Lucky Fish also won the gold medal in poetry for the Independent Publishers Book Awards and was featured in the New York Times and on the PBS NewsHour’s “Art Beat.” Poems from this collection were also awarded an NEA Fellowship in poetry, the Glenna Luschia Prize from Prairie Schooner, and the Angoff Award from The Literary Review for the best poems appearing that volume year. At the Drive-In Volcano was awarded the Balcones Prize, which honors an outstanding collection published the previous year. Miracle Fruit won ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in poetry, and the Global Filipino Literary Award.
Other awards for her writing include the Pushcart Prize, a poetry fellowship to the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Boatwright Prize from Shenandoah, and the Richard Hugo Prize from Poetry Northwest. Nezhukumatathil is a Professor of English at State University of New York-Fredonia where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal of Excellence.
Continuing the Festival on Tuesday will be Rogers, Olson, Ormiston, Hunter, and DeLanoy.
Rogers founded Bright Hill Press with Ernest Fishman in 1992 in Treadwell, where she has curated hundreds of poetry and prose readings, including the regular “Word Thursdays” series. Her poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, in chapbooks, and in full-length collections including “Heart Turned Back” (Salmon, Ireland, 2010), and the forthcoming “Wild” (Salmon, Ireland, 2015). Her translation of “Beowulf” was published in 2000, and her translation of the Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Poems from the Exeter Book, “Uncommon Creatures, Singing Things,” is forthcoming. She has won writing and visual arts awards and residency fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the Rockefeller Brothers Potantico Hills Residency program, Hedgebrook, and Hawthornden International Writers Retreat.