Poet Eric Nelson will read at Ripon College

Poet Eric Nelson will give a reading of his work at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15. The presentation will be in the North Reading Room of Lane Library, 300 Seward St., on the Ripon College campus.

The reading will be free and open to the public, and a book signing will follow the reading.

Nelson is a strong and engaging poet as well as a wonderfully entertaining reader. His most recent collection of poems, The Twins, won the 2009 Split Oak Press chapbook competition. Other books include Terrestrials; The Interpretation of Waking Life; The Light Bringers; and On Call. His poems also have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, The Southern Review, Missouri Review, The Christian Science Monitor and Yankee. He has been a Featured Poet on Poetry magazine’s website and on Verse Daily and Poetry Daily as well as a number of anthologies.

Among his awards are the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Award, the Arkansas Poetry Award, the Split Oak Press chapbook award, and fellowships to the Hambidge Center for the Arts and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. In 2005, he was named the Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry by the Georgia Writers’ Association.

Born in Texas and educated at Virginia Tech and Johns Hopkins University, Nelson has presented his work at many schools across the country. For many years, he has taught in the Writing and Linguistics Department at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

Maxine Kumin, who selected his book Terrestrials for publication, calls “clarity and honesty” two of Nelson’s main virtues as a poet. Also about that book, Peter Meinke has written, “Anyone who thinks the sonnet is dead must read the opening poems of Eric Nelson’s new collection. They, and the poems that follow them, are tough and touching, funny, and ring the pure notes of felt truth. These poems, though deeply rooted in family and our conflicted world, will get into your head, and fly.”

Nelson’s visit is being sponsored by the Ripon College Visiting Writers Series, with assistance from the Schang Family Visiting Writer Fund. For more information, contact David Graham, Department of English, at 748-8722.

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