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Visiting Writers Series to Feature
Li-Young Lee and Rainelle Burton

Posted October 16, 2001

HOLLAND -- Internationally known poet Li-Young Lee and Michigan novelist Rainelle Burton will read at Hope College on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre through the Visiting Writers Series.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Lee, an Indonesian immigrant, fled to America with his family to escape political oppression in the late 1950s. His poetry is in countless anthologies and literary textbooks. "The American Poetry Review" calls him "among the finest young poets alive."

His three books of poetry and memoir have received numerous awards, and Lee himself has been a recipient of Guggenheim fellowship and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lee's poetry is lyrical, simple but not simplistic, and resonant with the memories of his youth. His poems relate the delicate balance between family and individuality, the present, the past, and the future.

Rainelle Burton's first novel, "The Root Worker," has been compared to the works of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. A Detroit native, Burton tells the story of a young girl trapped in a decaying family and community.

Set in the 1960s, the novel explores Ellen's search for what she calls "glue," a place of safety where no one will hurt her. Holding Ellen back from healing is the Root Woman, a voodoo doctor who nearly kills Ellen in her attempt to cleanse Ellen's soul.

Burton studied creative writing at Wayne State University. A mother and teacher, she is a member of the international women's writing guild.

Writer Marjorie Agosin was originally scheduled to read during the Wednesday, Oct. 24, event, but a recent injury caused her to cancel the appearance. The Visiting Writers Series staff is planning to have Agosin read at a yet-undecided future time.

Jazz music by the Hope College Jazz Ensemble will precede the reading at 6:30 p.m. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St., between College and Columbia avenues.

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