Saint Xavier University will present “Poetry and Politics: A Reading by Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein” in honor of National Poetry Month at 6:30 p.m. on Tues., April 9 in the Butler Reception Room. Dr. Stein will read primarily from his just released collection of poems, “Wrestling Li Po for the Remote” (Fifth Star Press, 2013). The event is free and open to the public.
Appointed Illinois Poet Laureate in 2003, Dr. Stein regards the responsibility to be the state’s “ambassador of the arts” as an opportunity to bring poetry into the lives of everyday people, drawing them into the delight and sheer fun of words that resonate with beauty and insight. During his first visit to Saint Xavier in 2004, Dr. Stein impressed his audience of students and community members with his ability to communicate the pleasure of poetry.
Dr. Stein is the Caterpillar Professor of English at Bradley University in Peoria, where he teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in American literature and coordinates the creative writing program. He has published six poetry collections, including “Sufficiency of the Actual” (2009), “American Ghost Roses” (2005), “Chance Ransom” (2000), and “Bruised Paradise” (1996), all from the University of Illinois Press. His poems and essays have appeared in several scholarly and literary journals. Scholarly works such as “James Wright: The Poetry of a Grown Man” (Ohio University Press, 1989) and a poetry anthology, “Illinois Voices” (University of Illinois Press, 2001), co-edited with G.E. Murray, extend the range of his publications.
“Poetry and Politics” at SXU will be the “coming out” event for Dr. Stein’s new collection, “Wrestling Li Po for the Remote.” This collection and others by Dr. Stein will be available for purchase and autographing after his presentation.
In addition to the 6:30 p.m. reading, Dr. Stein will conduct a pre-lecture seminar with selected Saint Xavier students and invited students from local Catholic high schools. He will share with them his approach to writing and will comment on some of their poems submitted to him in advance.
“Poetry and Politics: A Reading by Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein” is sponsored by SXU’s Center for Religion and Public Discourse as part of its Squeaky Weal lecture series.