MISSOULA – Two accomplished poets will visit the University of Montana to offer insight on “Race and Publishing in the 21st Century.” Ruth Ellen Kocher and Carmen Giménez Smith will deliver a lecture on the topic on Friday, Oct. 7, before reading their own work that evening.
UM creative writing faculty members, specifically Prageeta Sharma, invited the poets to share their thoughts at UM. Sharma, who has organized the highly successful “Thinking its Presence” conference on race, creative writing and literature, is excited to give Missoula audiences the opportunity to hear from these poets.
“Both Ruth Ellen Kocher and Carmen Giménez Smith are terrifically talented in breaking open poetic and prose forms and exploring how we explore innovation in writing,” Sharma said.
Kocher, a poetry, poetics and literature professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, has written several prize winning poems, including “Domina Un/blued,” which won the Dorset Prize and the 2014 PEN/Open Book Award; “One Girl Babylon,” which won the Green Rose Prize; and “Desdemona’s Fire,” which won the Naomi Long Madgett Prize.
Her poems have appeared in various anthologies, and Kocher has been awarded fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Yaddo. She is a contributing editor at Poets & Writers magazine and has taught poetry writing for the University of Missouri, Southern Illinois University, the New England College Residency Master of Fine Arts program, the Indian Summer Writer’s Workshop and Washington University’s Summer Writing Program.
Smith, a poetry teacher at the creative writing program at New Mexico State University and the publisher of Noemi Press, is the author of a memoir and four poetry collections. “Milk and Filth” was a finalist for the 2013 NBCC award in poetry. She co-edited “Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing,” published by Counterpath Press.