The Fall 2015 Pitt-Greensburg Written/Spoken Series will celebrate new books by poets George Looney and Richard St. John Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in Campana Chapel. The reading is free and open to the public. A book-signing follows the readings.
Richard St. John’s new book, “Each Perfected Name” (Truman State University Press, 2015), is collection of poems that seek the sacred in the ordinary, with subjects ranging from Odysseus and Aristotle to the G-20 Summit, quarks and stars.
“The Pure Inconstancy of Grace” (Truman State University Press, 2005), St. John’s first book, was the first runner-up for the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. Of that book, former Pennsylvania Poet Laureate Sam Hazo wrote:
“What remarkable, original, and intelligent poems these are – without an echo of imitation or lingering indebtedness. Above all, these are poems of felt intelligence – a quality one associates with Richard Wilbur or John Donne and too few others. Richard St. John is among the select few.”
St. John received degrees in English from Princeton University (summa cum laude) and the University of Virginia. In 2002, he completed a mid-career Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University. He lives in Pittsburgh where he coordinates small-group conversations that support reflection, relationships and shared meaning-making.
George Looney is the author of nine books of poetry and fiction, including “Meditations Before the Windows Fail”(Lost Horse Press, 2015), the book-length poem “Structures the Wind Sings Through” (Full/Crescent Press, 2014), “Monks Beginning to Waltz “(Truman State University Press, 2012), “A Short Bestiary of Love and Madness” (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2011), “Open Between Us” (Turning Point, 2010), “The Precarious Rhetoric of Angels” (2005 White Pine Press Poetry Prize), “Attendant Ghosts” (Cleveland State University Press, 2000), “Animals Housed in the Pleasure of Flesh” (1995 Bluestem Award), and the 2008 novella “Hymn of Ash” (the 2007 Elixir Press Fiction Chapbook Award).
The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Looney has also held two Ohio Arts Council fellowships, and one from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His other honors include awards from The Missouri Review (twice), Zone 3, The Literary Review, and New Letters.
Looney received his MFA from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and founded the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Penn State Erie. He is editor of the international literary journal “Lake Effect,” translation editor of “Mid-American Review,” and co-founder of the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival.
The Written/Spoken series is a monthly reading series that brings nationally-known poets and writers to campus. Undergraduate student writers often open each reading with performances of their own work. The series is sponsored by the Pitt-Greensburg Creative and Professional Writing Program and the Office of Academic Affairs. For more information, call 724-836-7481 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.