Recently rechristened the Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets, the Seminar's 33rd year is its first under the direction of alumna K. A. Hays. (The program was formerly known as the Seminar for Younger Poets). Held for three weeks in June, the Seminar provides an extended opportunity for undergraduate poets to write and to be guided by established poets. Staff and visiting poets conduct writing workshops and offer lecture/discussions, present readings of their own work, and are available for individual conferences.
In the past, such poets as Terrance Hayes, Dana Levin, Mary Ruefle, David St. John, Arthur Sze, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Jean Valentine, Carl Phillips, Chase Twichell, and Mary Szybist have served as visiting poets. Numerous readings provide the participants with the opportunity to hear and be heard by their peers. Applicants compete for ten places in the Seminar, all of which come with fellowships. Fellowships include tuition, housing in campus apartments, and meals. Accepted students are responsible only for their travel to Bucknell and a modest library deposit. A limited number of travel scholarships are available.
The 2017 staff will include visiting poets Kyle Dargan, Ilya Kaminsky, and Sally Wen Mao, all of whom are program alumni, in addition to Bucknell faculty and staff. Dates for the 2017 Seminar are June 10 - July 1. The application postmark deadline is Jan. 31, 2017. See Frequently Asked Questions for eligibility and application guidelines.
Kyle Dargan is the author of four collections of poetry, Honest Engine (2015), Logorrhea Dementia (2010), Bouquet of Hungers (2007) and The Listening (2003)-all published by the University of Georgia Press. Dargan has partnered with the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities to produce poetry programming at the White House and Library of Congress.. He is currently an Associate Professor of literature and director of creative writing at American University, as well as the founder and editor of POST NO ILLS magazine. He is originally from Newark, New Jersey. For his work, he has received the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Ilya Kaminsky was born in the city of Odessa in Ukraine, at that time part of the Soviet Union. He lost most of his hearing at the age of four. His family settled in the U.S. after being granted political asylum in 1993. His first book, Dancing in Odessa (2004), won the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award among other prestigious prizes. Travelling Musicians (2007) is a selection of his poems originally written in Russian. He is co-editor of the Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (2010). Kaminsky's many honors include a Whiting Writers' Award, the Milton Center's Award for Excellence in Writing, the Florence Kahn Memorial Award, Poetry magazine's Levinson Prize as well as their Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation fellowship.
Sally Wen Mao is the author of Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014). She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Kundiman, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and National University of Singapore. Her work is published in Poetry, A Public Space, Tin House, The Missouri Review, and Best American Poetry 2013, among others. She is the 2016-2017 fellow at Dorothy B. Cullman Center at the New York Public Library. Sally Wen Mao was born in Wuhan, China and grew up in Boston and the Bay Area. She holds a B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.F.A. from Cornell University.
Katie Hays, Director
Born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, K. A. (Katie) Hays was educated at Bucknell, Oxford, and Brown Universities, where she earned an M.F.A. in 2005. She is the author of three books of poetry, Early Creatures, Native Gods (Carnegie Mellon, 2012) and Dear Apocalypse (Carnegie Mellon, 2009) and the forthcoming Windfall (Carnegie Mellon, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry (2009, 2011) and other anthologies and widely in journals and magazines. She has also published fiction and verse translations and has served as an editor of West Branch, Bucknell's national literary journal. Hays has received residencies at the Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village, Nova Scotia, and at the Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire. She has taught creative writing at Bucknell since 2010 and in 2014 served as Acting Director of the Seminar for Younger Poets. She is thrilled to assume the directorship of the Seminar for Younger Poets beginning with the 2016 Seminar.
Deirdre O'Connor, Associate Director
Deirdre O'Connor's book, Before the Blue Hour, was the winner of the Cleveland State Poetry Prize for 2001. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, The American Journal of Nursing, Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies, Poetry and other journals. A native of Pittsburgh, O'Connor holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania State University. She directs Bucknell's Writing Center.
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