Poet Mark Jarman to Read at CBU

Mark JarmanMemphis- Mark Jarman, MFA, Centennial Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University, will give a poetry reading at Christian Brothers University (CBU) on Thursday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the University Theater.

Considered a key figure in both New Narrative and New Formalism, Jarman has exerted a significant influence on contemporary American poetry. His collections of work have explored his family history, geography and faith while formulating a poetics that emphasizes narrative and traditional forms. The son of a minister, Jarman’s work has increasingly turned from autobiography to religious faith and doubt. Although steeped in religion as a child, he had become ambivalent about faith. However, when his wife suggested that their family begin attending church, Jarman experienced a renewal of his belief in God. His later writings reflect his newfound spirituality. 

Dr. Karen Golightly, Assistant Professor of Literature and Languages, notes the significance of the event and encourages everyone to attend. “As a prolific poet, who addresses religious faith and its role in his and our everyday lives, we are thrilled to have Mark Jarman read here at Christian Brothers University. We welcome all CBU students and faculty, as well as the Memphis area community to this exciting event.”

The author of numerous collections of poetry, Jarman is also a contributor of poems to periodicals, including the New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Southwest Review, Ploughshares, and Atlantic Monthly. Many of his works have received awards, including, his poetry collection Questions for Ecclesiastes which won the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Black Riviera (1990), won the 1991 Poets’ Prize. In 1992 he published Iris, a book-length poem. He has also published two collections of essays which further distill his thoughts on narrative, craft and form.

In addition, Jarman was the co-founder and editor of the Reaper, a magazine devoted to reclaiming and promoting poetry that emphasized story and image, and the Story Line Press which continues to publish the works of emerging and established poets.

Jarman was the recipient of the Joseph Henry Jackson Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation .He earned an MFA from the University of Iowa in 1976 and a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1974.

The Poetry Reading is free and open to the public. For more information contact Karen Golightly at (901) 321-4483, or email kgolight@cbu.edu. ###

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