Stadler Center Writers Series

Dean Young
2013–14 Poet-in-Residence

Poetry Reading
January 28, 2014
7 p.m. Bucknell Hall

Conversation and Q&A
February 4, 2014
12 noon, Walls Lounge, Langone Center 213

Dean Young was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania, and received his MFA from Indiana University. Recognized as one of the most energetic, influential poets writing today, his numerous collections of poetry include Strike Anywhere (1995), winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry; Skid (2002), finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Elegy on Toy Piano (2005), finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Primitive Mentor (2008), shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize.  He has also written a book on poetics, The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction (2010). Young has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the low-residency MFA program at Warren Wilson College, and the University of Texas-Austin where he holds the William Livingston Chair of Poetry.

Poetry Workshop with Dean Young

During his two-week stay as Poet-in-Residence, Young will offer a poetry workshop for qualified Bucknell students. The workshop, which is not for academic credit, is open to undergraduate and graduate students on an application basis. The workshop is limited to twelve students.

If you are interested in applying for the workshop, please email Stadler Center Director Shara McCallum with an explanation of why you would like to participate and a 5-10 page sample of your poetry (attached as a single Word doc or PDF). The application deadline is Friday, December 6.

The workshop will meet twice:

Monday, February 4 (7-10 p.m.)
Monday, February 11 (7-10 p.m.)

Please note that the writing sample you send will be used as workshop course materials. Copies of each student's poems will be circulated to all members of the workshop.




Dean Young

Scarecrow on Fire


We all think about suddenly disappearing.
The train tracks lead there, into the woods.
Even in the financial district: wooden doors
in alleyways. First I want to put something small
into your hand, a button or river stone or
key I don't know to what. I don't
have that house anymore across from the graveyard
and its black angel. What counts as a proper
goodbye? My last winter in Iowa there was always
a ladybug or two in the kitchen for cheer
even when it was ten below. We all feel
suspended over a drop into nothingness.
Once you get close enough, you see what
one is stitching is a human heart. Another
is vomiting wings. Hell, even now I love life.
Whenever you put your feet on the floor
in the morning, whatever the nightmare,
it's a miracle or fantastic illusion:
the solidity of the boards, the steadiness
coming into the legs. Where did we get
the idea when we were kids to rub dirt
into the wound or was that just in Pennsylvania?
Maybe poems are made of breath, the way water,
cajoled to boil, says, This is my soul, freed.


"Scarecrow on Fire," from Fall Higher © 2011 by Dean Young, used by permission of the author and Copper Canyon Press.











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