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USF Home > College of Arts and Sciences > Humanities Institute - Poetry Month

Li-Young Lee

Li-Young Lee was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents. In 1959, the Lee family fled Indonesia to escape the anti-Chinese sentiment that later exploded in the 1965 genocides; his family settled in the United States in 1964. Lee’s poetry explores the joys and sorrows of family, home, loss, exile, and love; he is author of four critically acclaimed books of poetry, including Behind My Eyes; Book of My Nights; Rose (winner of the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award); The City in Which I Love You (the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection); and a memoir, The Winged Seed: A Remembrance, which received an American Book Award. His many other honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. According to a recent review of his work, “Lee is not only one of our best contemporary poets of the sacred; he is an authentic mystic … Confounding dichotomy, Lee calls into question the division between beginning/end, birth/death, past/future, man/woman, body/mind. Borders melt; language opens. These poems approach the very edge of the ineffable, that which cannot be articulated.”

Micheal O'Siadhail Poetry Reading

Micheal O’Siadhail is a renowned Irish poet who has published a total of ten collections of poetry and greatly recognized by society worldwide. His educational background includes the Clongowes Wood College, Trinity College Dublin, and the University of Oslo. Some of his collections include The Leap Year (1978), Rungs of Time (1980), Belonging (1982), Springnight (1983), The Image Wheel (1985), and many others. His great works of poetry led him to give the Verman Hull Lecture at Harvard and the Trumball Hull Lecture at Yale University. O’Siadhail returned to lecture at his alma mater, Trinity College Dublin, and also became a professor at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. His Collected Works was recently launched by former President of Ireland, Dr. Mary McAleese at Trinity College, Dublin. His various amounts of accolades exemplify the successful academic career and influence he has extended among the world of modern poetry.

Ira Sukrungruang

Ira Sukrungruang was born in Oak Lawn, Illionis in 1976 and grew up within a normal childhood, eventually attending Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For five years of jumping from major to major, Sukrungruang finally fell upon the writer’s path. He interned at the Crab Orchid Review, a publishing house, where he made connections with certain writers/editors, John Tribble, Allison Joseph, and Carolyn Alessio. In 1999, he received a M.F.A. in creative nonfiction at Ohio State University. He co-edited along with Donna Jarrell, What Are You Looking At?, The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. His poetry collection, In Thailand It Is Night won the Tampa Press Anita Claire Schraf Award for Poetry. He also the author of a memoir, Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy. He continues to teach within the M.F.A. program at the University of South Florida and does fun things like play PlayStation 3 and watch reruns of the West Wing.

Coppélia Kahn

Coppélia Kahn was the first person to introduce the question of gender in the Shakespearian studies, presented in her book, Man’s Estate: Masculine Identity in Shakespeare(1981) and Roman Shakespeare: Warriors, Wounds, and Women (1997). Her educational background includes English, Theatre, and Performance studies along with Italian Studies at the graduate level. Some of her grants and awards include Seven College Conference Scholarship from Barnard College (1957-61), McEnerney Fellowship from the University of California at Berkeley (1965-66), and a Fellowship from the Center for the Humanities at Oregon State University (January-June 1993). Her teaching experience ranges from a lecture course in Shakespeare’s literary career to a graduate seminar in Renaissance drama. Her current research concerns the creation of Shakespeare as a cultural icon in the 19th century and early 20th centuries in discourses in race and empire. Kahn is currently Professor of English at Brown University.

Alexis Orgera

Alexis Orgera is the author of two books, How Like Foreign Objects and Dusk Jacket and two chapbooks, Illuminatrix and Dear Friends, The Birds were Wonderful! She currently lives in Southwest Florida and has recently taught writing at the New College of Florida and Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. Orgera is the two-time recipient of the Dorthy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. Her poems, essays, and reviews can be found in print or online such as the Another Chicago Magazine, Barrelhouse Online, Bat City Review, DIAGRAM, Drunken Boat, Forklift Ohio, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, H_ngm_n, HTMLGiant, The Journal, Memorious, and elsewhere.

John Nieves

John Nieves, USF Alumnus and author of Curio, is a poet, teacher, and a scholar, and is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Salisbury University in Maryland. He received his M.A. at the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. His first book, Curio, won the 13th Annual Elixir Press Poetry Awards Judge’s Prize in January of 2013. His other accolades include the Pushcart Nomination for his poem, "Cartograph" in November of 2012, and the Indiana Review Poetry Prize for his poem, “Because the Birds Came” in 2011.

Jay Hopler

Jay Hopler was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico is 1970 and is a successful American poet. He gained his education with New York University (B.A. in English and American Literature), The John Hopkins University Writing Seminars (M.A. in Creative Writing/Poetry), The Iowa Writers’ Workshop (M.F.A. Creative Writing/Poetry), and Purdue University (Ph.D. in American Studies). His number of poems, essays, and translations has been covered in the American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and SLATE. His book of poems, Green Squall was chosen the winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 2005 and also the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award in 2007. Other esteemed recognition includes the 2007 National Best Books Award from USA Book News, 2006 Florida Book Award, and a 2006 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award. His most recent book, Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry, was edited along with Kimberly Johnson. He an Associate Professor of English at the University of a South Florida.

Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly Johnson is a poet, translator, and literary critic who works includes a collection of poetry, Leviathan with a Hook, A Metaphorical God, and the forthcoming, Uncommon Prayer. Her scholarly essays, poems, and translations have all appeared in The New Yorker, SLATE, The Iowa Review, Milton Quarterly, and Modern Philosophy. Johnson holds an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. She also is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Arts Council, and the Mellon Foundation. She is co-editor with Jay Hopler on the book, Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.