posted April 12, 2004

Visiting Writers Series April 21

The Hope College Visiting Writers Series will feature poets Quan Barry and Beth Ann Fennelly in its last reading of the school year on Wednesday, April 21, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Barry was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford and won the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin. "Asylum," her first book, won the 2000 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in "The Missouri Review" and "The New Yorker."

Barry's influences include Anne Carson, Jorie Graham and Louise Gluck, but her poems are inspired by more than other poets: Nova, the New Testament, NPR, "The Matrix," and math equations. "I always thought I could learn more about poetry by studying a tree than I could by taking a literature class," she said.

Fennelly was raised in Lake Forest, Ill., and now lives in Oxford, Miss., with her husband Tom and their daughter, Claire.

"I like to write poems in different styles and modes, so it is hard for me to draw generalizations about my work. Overall, I would say I'm drawn to the moments in our lives when a decision is made that will change whatever follows. Also, I'm fascinated by language, especially metaphor," Fennelly said.

Her poetry collection "Open House" won the 2001 Kenyon Review Prize.

The reading will be preceded by music by the Hope College Jazz Ensemble beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St.