Robert Michael Pyle to read from latest book at Penn State Behrend

August 18, 2014

From butterflies to earthworms, every creature has meaning for poet Robert Michael Pyle. As a naturalist and lepidopterist, Pyle makes a point to emphasize nature in his creative works, and it’s a frequent theme in “Evolution of the Genus Iris,” Pyle’s first full-length book of poems.

Pyle will read poems from this book and other works when the Creative Writers Reading Series resumes at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, on Sept. 4. His 6 p.m. reading and the reception that will precede it are free and open to the public. Both events will be held in the Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel.

“Evolution of the Genus Iris” was released in May and has since garnered positive reviews.

“Many contemporary poets often include imagery of nature in their respective works, but with Bob, the myriad wonders of nature are as much a part of his everyday language as nouns and verbs – without them I do not believe he would be capable of communication at all – and as a result they flow as gracefully through the verses as swallows fly through a summer evening,” John E. Riutta wrote in a review for the “The Well-read Naturalist.”

In addition to “Evolution of the Genus Iris,” Pyle has written 16 books, including “Wintergreen” and “The Tangled Bank.” He is a Guggenheim Fellow and has received the John Burroughs Medal and several other writing awards.

The Creative Writers Reading Series is produced by Penn State Behrend’s bachelor of fine arts in creative writing degree program with support from the Clarence A. and Eugenie Baumann Smith Fund. For additional information, call 814-898-6108 or visit

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Last Updated January 09, 2015