Visiting Writer Series Begins with a Visit from Elizabeth Kerlikowske



Author and poet Elizabeth Kerlikowske will visit Kalamazoo Valley Community College on Thursday, Oct. 4 as the first guest in the About Writing: Visiting Writers Series. She’ll talk about her work during a 10 a.m. craft talk and will read some of her writing at 2:15 p.m. Both events take place in the Student Commons Theater at the Texas Township Campus and are free and open to the public.

Kerlikowske is a Michigan native who earned an MA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. She is an English professor at Kellogg Community College and is President of Friends of Poetry, the writing group that runs the Poems That Ate Our Ears Contest. Kerlikowske’s works have appeared in many venues, in print and online, including SLAB, New Verse News, The Ambassador Project, Blazevox, and the Dunes Review, where she was the winner of the 2010 Shaw Prize for poetry.

Kerlikowske has been a published author for 40 years and has received four Pushcart nominations. Her favorite work is a collection of prose poems about her father called “The Shape of Dad.” Copies will be available in the Kalamazoo Valley bookstore during her visit. Kalamazoo Valley’s “About Writing” series is orchestrated by English instructor Rob Haight and offers students the opportunity to talk with professional writers and listen to their work.

Kerlikowske will share some practical advice about life as a writer. “My craft talk is entitled “So Make It So,”" she said. “It's two parts: the first is about making a life writing and writing about that life, and the second is about moving the poem from the page into other art forms.”

During the afternoon session, Kerlikowske will read from two unpublished manuscripts, "Faces On Plates" and "The Bud Poems" as well as some poems from Rib, her latest chapbook, and poems about what she facetiously calls her “amazing” dancing career.

Haight said Kerlikowske’s talk will be a treat for students and the community alike. “We are delighted to be hosting Elizabeth Kerlikowske this fall as part of our visiting writers series,” he said. “She is both a fine writer and an excellent teacher of writing, and I'm confident our students and the college community will find her presentations entertaining and instructive.”