Hackettstown, N.J., March 16, 2017– Aspiring poets, this one is for you! Poets Aracelis Girmay and Jenny Johnson will be reading from their work, signing books, and conducting a poetry workshop at Centenary University at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 as a part of the Department of English & Foreign Language’s Speaker Series. The event will take place in the Front Parlours of the Edward W. Seay Administration Building. After the reading, Girmay and Johnson will sign books and host a one-hour poetry workshop for interested Centenary students and community members. The event is free and open to the public. It is made possible in part by a grant from the Warren County Cultural & Heritage Commission.
Aracelis Girmay is the author of the poetry collections Teeth, Kingdom Animalia, and The Black Maria. She is also the author/illustrator of the collage-based picture book changing, changing. For Teeth, Girmay received the GLCA New Writers Award, and the book was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. Kingdom Animalia was the winner of the Isabella Gardner Award (BOA Editions) and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Most recently, Girmay’s poetry and essays have been published in Granta, Black Renaissance Noire, Poetry, Some Call It Ballin’, and Prairie Schooner, among other places. She has received grants and fellowships from the Jerome, Cave Canem, and Whiting foundations, as well as Civitella Ranieri and the NEA. Girmay is a new editorial board member of the African Poetry Book Fund.
Jenny Johnson is the author of In Full Velvet (Sarabande Books, 2017). Her honors include a 2015 Whiting Award and a 2016-17 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and at the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program.
“Centenary students and community members will have the unique opportunity to write their own work alongside two of our nation’s most exciting poets,” Emilia Phillips, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing says. “By bringing these poets to campus, we hope to continue to build a community of creative writers in northwestern New Jersey.”
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.
Centenary University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County). The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, as well as corporate sites throughout New Jersey.