Poet Lia Purpura to open Penn State Behrend reading series

Poet and essayist Lia Purpura will read from her work when the Creative Writers Reading Series returns to Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, on Sept. 5. She also will be the featured writer at “Earth’s Eye: A Festival of Writing in and of the Natural World” on Sept. 7.

Purpura, a 2012 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of seven collections of essays, poems and translations. Her 2006 book, “On Looking,” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She also has been awarded an NEA Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship and three Pushcart Prizes.

“If language is, as she suggests in one essay, ‘a game we all agree to play,’” the author Leah Hager Cohen has said, “then Purpura is at once a master of the game and a soulful, wild playmate. She creates a kind of word origami, folding phonemes and inquiries into intricate paper delights.”

Purpura will read from her work at 6 p.m. Sept. 5 in Penn State Behrend’s Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel. That event, and a reception at 5:30 p.m., will be free and open to the public.

Purpura also will participate in “Earth’s Eye,” a writing festival held at Presque Isle State Park. She will discuss, among other things, how to use details inspired by the natural world to improve a piece of writing.

Faculty members from the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Penn State Behrend coordinate the festival, which is open to writers of all skill levels. Registration for this year’s event, which will be held Sept. 7, costs $40.

For more information about “Earth’s Eye,” visit Behrend.psu.edu or call 814-898-6443. Information about the Creative Writers Reading Series, which is made possible with support from the Clarence A. and Eugene Baumann Smith Fund, also is available at Behrend.psu.edu, or by calling 814-898-6108.

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Last Updated August 20, 2013