Distinguished Visiting Writer

Cornelius Eady

Award-winning poet Cornelius Eady was the Department of Writing's spring distinguished visiting writer. He is the author of six books including Brutal Imagination, a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award in poetry, and Victims
of the Latest Dance Craze
, which was chosen as the 1985 Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets. His other honors include the Prairie Schooner Strauss Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Eady is also widely known for
cofounding Cave Canem, a summer workshop/ retreat committed to the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African American poetry. Says Katharyn Howd Machan, director of the series, "His work with Cave Canem informs much of what he offers, especially to young people who might fear that they won't be heard."

During his weeklong visit to campus, Eady held a master class in poetry. Machan noted that the student response to Eady was enthusiastic. "He didn't hold back. He was generous with his interest in each of the students as individuals and with the class as a whole. His style is to ease students into writing new and vivid poems by empowering them to write what they already know." The public also had the opportunity to experience Eady's work. On February 6, he presented "On Rewriting" in which he shared one poem in various stages. Two days later, Eady read from his poetry in Park Hall Auditorium. "His style as a reader was resonant with intellect and emotion," Machan recalls.