Award-winning poet to read, give a masterclass


Award-winning poet Donna Masini will give a public reading and discussion of her work at a book signing event on Wednesday, April 20 at SUNY Cortland.

Masini, Professor of English/Creative Writing at Hunter College, City University of New York, will also be giving SUNY Cortland students, faculty, and staff an exclusive and unique poetry masterclass earlier today.

The public event, which is free and open to everyone, begins at 5 p.m. at the Sperry Center, Mary L. Hobson ’61 Lecture Hall. Masini’s books will be available for sale, courtesy of the university’s Campus Store, upon signing.

Donna Massini

The master class, which is limited to the campus community, will take place from 3-4 p.m. at the Old Main Colloquium. Registration for the master class is mandatory.

Masini’s public presentation continues the Department of English’s Distinguished Voices in Literature series.

“Masini is a notable addition to this year’s reading series because she is not only an exceptional writer, she is an exceptional teacher,” said Heather Bartlett, teacher in the English department and director of the Distinguished Voices in Literature series. “Our students and our community have much to gain from his visit.”

Michael Turner, coordinator of the university’s writing center and organizer of the masterclass, echoed the opportunity presented by Masini’s visit.

“This is a generative workshop where (students) will work directly with Donna Masini,” he said. “She’ll talk about poetry, share writing prompts, and discuss crafts.”

Masini is the author of three books of poetry, 4:30 p.m. movie (WW Norton and Co., 2018), turn to fiction (Norton, 2004) and This kind of danger (Beacon Press, 1994). She also wrote a novel, About Yvonne (Norton, 1998).

His verses have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Plow shares, American poetry magazine, Paris review, Brooklyn Poets and Best American Poetry 2015.

The lifelong New York resident has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize and the Barnard Women Poets Prize as well as residencies at Civitella Ranieri, Bogliasco and Yaddo.

“Donna Masini’s work resonates because it is both intimate and public,” noted Bartlett. “With her poems, she offers us brief moments of escape and recognition – a movie theater, a waiting room, a memory – that change us and stay with us.”

In addition to the English Department, the Distinguished Voices in Literature event is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Campus Lecture and Artist Series, the Committee of the cultural and intellectual climate, the Cortland Auxiliary and the Center Writing Committee.

For more information on the series, contact Bartlett. For more information about the workshop, contact Turner.

Image above left by Nowaja from Pixabay

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