Date: October 23, 2008
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, firstname.lastname@example.org
PNC Hosts Poetry Reading by Author Jake Adam York
Westville – The Purdue University North Central Department of English and Modern Languages will present a reading by author Jake Adam York Monday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Library-Student-Faculty Building Cybercafé on the main floor. A reception will follow the reading. This event is free and open to the public.
York is the author of two books of poems, “Murder Ballads,” published in 2005 and winner of the Elixir Press Award; and “A Murmuration of Starlings” published in 2008 as part of the Crab Orchard Series in poetry, by the Southern Illinois University Press. York is an associate professor of English and director of the creative writing program at the University of Colorado , Denver .
York has been called “one of the most exciting new voices in American poetry.” His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines and earned several awards. The son of an Alabama steelworker, his books are devoted to the task of facing history, particularly his state's violent history during the Civil Rights Movement.
“Murder Ballads” takes its title from the Appalachian tradition of song-poems that narrate horrific acts in the first person, but do so with a heart-rending sweetness. York 's poems weave their way into the state's history through the long reach of the steel industry into the landscape, into the soil and into people's lives. That reach led him to write an elegy for James Knox, an African-American convict who was murdered and mutilated while working in a coal mine as part of Alabama 's convict-labor system.
In his second book, the elegy - a poem commemorating the dead - York writes a series of poems about the murder of Emmitt Till and other martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement.
York gained his perspective on the history of the South by leaving the state to be educated in the North. He does carry with him a storytelling tradition that goes deep into his family background. He is an engrossing reader of his poetry, and this should prove a fascinating and memorable event.
Further information can be obtained by contacting Paul Hecht, PNC assistant professor of English at email@example.com or 219-785-5200 ext. 5296. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Hecht.