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CUA Hosts Noted Poets at April 20 Reading

David Bottoms Featured Reader at Event Honoring Walt Whitman


Walt Whitman Award-winner David Bottoms will join distinguished local poets Kim Roberts, Saundra Rose Maley, Judith McCombs, Richard Sharp and Patricia Gray at Catholic University’s Spring Poetry Series reading on Wednesday, April 20.


The poetry reading, which will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Hannan Hall’s Herzfeld Auditorium, is part of the Washington, D.C., city-wide festival “DC Celebrates Whitman: 150 Years of Leaves of Grass,” honoring legendary poet Walt Whitman, who lived and worked in Washington from 1863 to 1873.


The festival, which marks the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the poet’s renowned collection “Leaves of Grass,” runs from March 26 to May 31. In addition to presenting works of their own, each of the visiting poets will read at least one piece written by Whitman.


David Bottoms, the event’s featured reader, is the author of “Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump,” for which he won the 1979 Walt Whitman Award, given annually by the Academy of American Poets for the best first book of poetry by an American who has never before been published. An English professor at Georgia State University, Bottoms has been the recipient of an Ingram-Merrill Award, an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Levinson Prize. He is the founding co-editor of Five Points — the 1998 recipient of the Best New Journal Award, given by the Council of Literary Magazines.   


Bottoms’s poems have appeared in numerous magazines. He is scheduled to begin his CUA presentation at 6 p.m.


Kim Roberts, author of the poetry book “The Wishbone Galaxy,” is also the editor of Beltway: An Online Poetry Quarterly, which has been named one of nine poetry Web sites “worth exploring” by The Chronicle of Higher Education. She has been awarded writer’s residency grants from a number of arts foundations, and her poems have been included in numerous anthologies, including “American Poetry: The Next Generation.”


Saundra Rose Maley, an adjunct assistant English professor at George Washington University, has written poems published in Dryad, Calvert Review Ethos, Sybil-Chile, The Mill and D.C. Perspectives. She is the author of “Solitary Apprenticeship: James Wright and German Poetry.


Judith McCombs, a teacher at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md., is the author of two books and numerous articles on Margaret Atwood, and several books of poetry, “Against Nature: Wilderness Poems,” and most recently, “The Habit of Fire.” Her poems have appeared in Calyx, Red Cedar Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest and River Styx.


Richard Sharp, a Library of Congress full-time employee, is a member of the Washington Friends of Walt Whitman. Specializing in the American Renaissance, Sharp has published several chapters of his dissertation, titled “The Poet’s Witness: A Comparative Study of the Civil War Poetry of Walt Whitman and Herman Melville.”


Patricia Gray, coordinator of the Poetry at Noon program at the Library of Congress since 1994, has received multiple artist fellowships in poetry from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She recently published a book titled “Rapture.”                         


A reception and book signing will follow the readings. The event is free and open to the public.







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Revised: 3/22/2005

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