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2012 Guest Poet Biographies

Melanie Hubbard
Author of We Have with Us Your Sky
April 2, 2012 7:00pm
Marshall Student Center (MSC) 2707.

Melanie Hubbard lives in a small town on the west coast of Florida with her family. She received a PhD in literature from Columbia University; she also received a National Endowment for the Humanities research fellowship to do a scholarly book, now being revised, on Emily Dickinson. She has taught at New College of Florida, Eckerd College, and the University of Tampa. Poems, reviews, scholarly articles, and personal essays have appeared in a variety of periodicals. A chapbook, Gilbi Winco Swags, came out with Cannibal Books in 2008. She was the Subito Press, 2011 Poetry winner (chosen by Julie Carr) We Have with Us Your Sky.

Erica Dawson
Author of Big-Eyed and Afraid
April 4, 2012 7:00pm
Marshall Student Center (MSC) 3704

Erica Dawson was born in Columbia, Maryland in 1979. Majoring in the Writing Seminars, she received her BA with departmental honors from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. After earning her Master of Fine Arts from Ohio State University in 2006, she moved south to the University of Cincinnati, where she is pursuing a PhD in English and Comparative Literature as the Elliston Fellow in Poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, Blackbird, Sewanee Theological Review, Southwest Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She has been awarded several fellowships and prizes, including the Academy of American Poets Prize at Ohio State University. She also took second place in the 2004 Morton Marr Poetry Prize. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tampa. Her primary interests involve both the creation and study of literature. She specialize in poetry writing, 20th Century Poetry, Poetics and Aesthetics, as well as Renaissance Literature, particularly Shakespearean Drama and the Cavalier Poets.

Helen Wallace
Author of Shimming the Glass House
April 11, 2012 7:00pm
Marshall Student Center (MSC) 2709

A 2008 winner of a bronze Florida Book Award, Shimming the Glass House, Helen Wallace’s first collection of poems, was chosen for the 2007 Richard Snyder Prize and published by Ashland Poetry Press. Wallace has published poems in The Literary Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Cumberland Review, Nimrod International, Tampa Review, and other journals and anthologies, and served as co-editor of the anthology Isle of Flowers published by Anhinga Press. She’s received a McKay Shaw Academy of American Poets Award, The dA Center for the Arts Poetry Award, a residency fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She received her Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from Florida State University, and is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Eckerd College. She and her husband Peter both grew up in St. Petersburg, and raised their children there.

John Blair
Author of The Green Girls and The Occasions of Paradise (available early 2012)
April 13, 2012 7:00pm
USF Graphicstudio

John Blair, born in St. Petersburg, Florida, has become the first Florida-born author to win the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry for his manuscript, The Occasions of Paradise. Blair’s earlier poetry collection, The Green Girls, was the 2003 winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Award from Pleiades Press, and his short story collection, American Standard, was the 2002 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. He also has two novels from Ballantine/Del Rey, Bright Angel and A Landscape of Darkness. He is on the faculty at Texas State University, where he teaches American Literature and directs the undergraduate creative writing program.

James Kimbrell
Author of The Gatehouse Heavan and My Psychic
April 18, 2012 6:00pm
Ella's Folkart Cafe: 5119 N. Nebraska Ave. Tampa.

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, James Kimbrell received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia and a PhD from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He is the author of The Gatehouse Heaven (1998), which was chosen by poet Charles Wright for the Kathryn A. Morton Prize from Sarabande Books, and My Psychic (2006). He and artist Yu Jung-yul co-translated the collection Three Poets of Modern Korea: Yi Sang, Hahm Dong-Seon, and Choi Young-Mi (2002). Kimbrell has received a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly Prize, and a Whiting Writers’ Award. He is an Associate Professor at Florida State University.

Sasenarine Persaud
Author of In a Boston Night and The Hungry Sailor
April 20, 2012 7:00pm
Marshall Student Center (MSC) 3708

Sasenarine Persaud is the author of twelve books of fiction and poetry. His awards include: The KM Hunter Foundation Award ( Toronto ), the Arthur Schomburg Award ( New York ) and fellowships from the University of Miami and Boston University , from which he has a Master’s in Creative Writing. Persaud initiated the term Yogic Realism to define his literary aesthetics. His most recent books are Lantana Strangling Ixora (TSAR Books, Toronto, 2011), Unclosed Entrances: Selected Poems (Caribbean Press, Warwick & Georgetown, 2011) and In a Boston Night. (TSAR, Toronto, 2008). He has been described as “one of those rare poets who gets the recipe of humanness exactly right” (Canadian Literature); and his poetry as “miniature raags, sensuous units of Indian music obeying conventions mysterious to western ears.” (The Globe and Mail). Persaud was born in Guyana and has lived in Canada for several years. Florida has been his home for the past decade.

Jennifer Clarvoe
Author of Counter-Amores and Invisible Tender
April 25, 2012 7:00pm
USF Graphicstudio

Clarvoe's first book of poems, Invisible Tender, won the Poets Out Loud Prize, and the prestigious Kate Tufts Discovery Award for "a first or early work of genuine promise." The University of Chicago Press has recently published her second book of poems, Counter-Amores. In 2002-2003, Clarvoe was awarded the Rome Prize in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which allowed her to spend the year writing at the American Academy in Rome. She teaches at Kenyon College where she has developed a course in Poetry and the Visual Arts, ranging from Homer's description of the Shield of Achilles, to Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn," to John Ashbery's "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror."