43 University Terrace, Athens, Ohio 45701

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Visiting Poet Kathy Fagan, Oct. 13Visiting Nonfiction Writer Kathy Fagan, Oct. 13

The English Department's creative writing program presents visiting poet Kathy Fagan giving a public reading of her work on Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Galbreath Chapel. 


Fagan is the author of six collections and co-founder of the MFA program at Ohio State University. 


Fagan’s visit to Ohio University follows closely after the publication of her latest collection, Bad Hobby, which was released on Sept. 13 by Milkweed Editions. That press describes the book as one that “thinks—hard. About lineage, about caregiving. About time. It paces ‘inside its head, gazing skyward for a noun or phrase to / shatter the glass of our locked cars & save us.’ And it does want to save us, or at least lift us, even in the face of immense bleakness, or loneliness, or the body changing, failing.”


Fagan’s first full-length collection, The Raft (Dutton, 1985), was a National Poetry Series selection, while her next volume, Moving & St. Rage (University of North Texas, 1999), won the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. Sycamore, Fagan’s 2017 collection from Milkweed Editions, was a Kingsley Tufts Award finalist.


“Kathy Fagan is a nervy commando in poetry’s resistance to the routinely explicable,” said Mark Halliday, Distinguished Professor of English in the College of Arts & Sciences.


Of Fagan’s third book, The Charm (Zoo Press, 2002), Halliday added, “One of the [book’s] best poems is 'Late Night Charm,' in which the speaker copes with her uneasy flow of thoughts as she watches late-night TV while her lover falls asleep. The situation would seem comfortable, and yet, as Hopkins said, ‘the mind has mountains,’ and the speaker finds herself in a swirl of existential misgiving, a feeling of our lives being merely two-dimensional and illusory, like television images. The authenticity of the poem—its courage in not pretending to be wiser than it is—I find impressive and moving.”


Fagan’s poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, The New York Times, The Kenyon Review, and The Nation, among other publications. She currently teaches poetry at the Ohio State University, where she also co-edits the OSU’s The Journal and the Wheeler Poetry Prize Book Series.

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  • Rachel Townsend
  • Azlyn Lafollette

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