The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 16, 2012

Weeklong visit and reading from admired poet

SELINSGROVE — Poet Lia Purpura will read from her work as part of the 2012-13 Visiting Writers Series, sponsored by The Writers Institute at Susquehanna University. The reading will be held Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Seibert Hall’s Isaacs Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Purpura is the author of three works of poetry: “King Baby” (2008), which won the Beatrice Hawley Award, “Stone Sky Lifting” (2000), which received the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award, and “The Brighter the Veil” (1996), which was awarded the Towson University Prize in Literature.

She is also the author of three collections of essays: “Rough Likeness” (2012), “On Looking,” winner of the Towson University Prize in Literature, and “Increase,” recipient of the Associated Writing Programs Award in Creative Nonfiction.

In a review of “Rough Likeness,” Leah Hager Cohen wrote, “Lia Purpura is fierce. She creates a kind of word origami, folding phonemes and inquiries into intricate paper delights. Then she holds a magnifying glass over them, focusing her rapturous attentions through the lens, until twists of smoke appear, and geometries of flame. . . . If language is, as she suggests in one essay ‘a game we all agree to play,’ then Purpura is at once a master of the game and a soulful, wild playmate.”

A graduate of Oberlin College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching/Writing Fellow in Poetry, Purpura is a Writer in Residence in Baltimore, Md., and teaches in the MFA program at the Rainier Writing Workshop, in Tacoma, Wash. Her work appears in Best American Essays, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The Southern Review, and a number of anthologies.

Purpura is in residence on the campus through Saturday. She is the second of six writers scheduled to read at Susquehanna during the 2012-13 school year. Books by Purpura will be available for purchase and signing following the reading. For more information about programs sponsored by the Writers Institute and upcoming events, visit

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