Award-Winning Appalachian Poet to Visit WLU for Hughes Lecture Series

By Natasha Muhametzyanova, Contributing Writer

Appalachian poet and professor emerita of English at Kent State University, Maggie Anderson will talk about her experience as a poet during Hughes Lecture Series.

The event will start at noon, Oct. 4 in the Ohio County Public Library where Anderson will attend the ‘Lunch with Books’ program. At 7:30 p.m. Anderson will give a formal talk in the Alumni Room of the College Union. The event will conclude with a poetry reading on Oct. 5 in the Alumni Room.

Inviting poets for the fall Hughes Lecture Series became a tradition for West Liberty University. The event corresponds with the poetry writing class also offered in fall semester.

 “For about three years we were trying to organize Maggie’s visit to our campus. Now everything fell into place,” said Dr. Peter Staffel, chair of the Hughes Lecture Series.

“Maggie is an amazing American and Appalachian poet and educator. Her visit will be more than just a lecture. Maggie will meet some of our students in class. It is a great opportunity for the students to interact with her on a more personal level,” Staffel said.

During her stay at WLU, Anderson will lead a workshop for WLU students currently enrolled in the poetry writing class and visit an Appalachian literature class.

A graduate of West Virginia University, Anderson worked as poet-in-residence for 10 years, in schools, senior centers, correctional facilities and libraries in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. She has served as visiting writer at several universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Oregon and West Virginia University. 

Anderson also gained international experience during her stay in Denmark (1992–1993) and her travels throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia.

A recipient of multiple fellowships and literary awards, Anderson published her poems in such journals as The American Poetry ReviewNew Letters and The Georgia Review as well as in more than 50 anthologies and textbooks. Her new book Dear All will be released in 2017.

The Hughes Lecture Series started in the 1970s thanks to generosity of WLU professor, Dr. Raymond Grove Hughes. At the time WLU was rather isolated, and the lectureship fund provided students with an opportunity to meet a wide range of public figures from athletes to scientists to writers.

Now the Hughes Lecture Series primarily focuses on writing. In past years, the event introduced WLU students to bestselling author Charlie Lovett, musician and poet Doug Van Gundy, founding editor of Rose Metal Press Kathleen Rooney and many more. For more information on Hughes Lecture Series, contact Staffel at [email protected].

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