Poet Laureate Aliki Barnstone To Visit Campus

Central Methodist University will soon welcome to campus Missouri’s Poet Laureate, Aliki Barnstone, who will present a free reading.

Aliki BarnstoneThe reading is offered by the CMU Cultural Affairs Committee and its Student Government Association. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11 in the Inman Student and Community Center’s Spalding Room, which is located on the fourth floor of the building. The reading is free for students, faculty, staff, and all visitors to CMU.

Barnstone grew up as the daughter of a father who was a writer and a mother who was an artist. When visiting Vermont during the summers, she lived near well-known poet Ruth Stone.

The children of the two families spent their days walking the fields, playing games, making up plays, drawing, painting, and writing. She published her first book of poetry, The Real Tin Flower,in 1968 when she was 12.

She studied at Brown University, where she received her bachelor and master degrees, Middlebury Language School (in Spanish), the University of California at Santa Cruz; and she earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley.

She has taught at numerous universities as an adult, including the Prague Summer Seminar, and was writer-in-residence at Villanova.

In 2006, Barnstone spent time in Greece as a Fulbright scholar. While there, she wrote a sequence of poems from an imaginary girl who survives the Holocaust. It was called “Eva’s Voice” and is part of her recent book of poetry Dear God, Dear Dr. Heartbreak: New and Selected Poems(Sheep Meadow Press, 2010).

Barnstone has been nominated twice for a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry. She has recorded a collaborative CD with musician Frank Haney called Wild Wind; and she is serving as a consultant on a new documentary film and book by Dr. Norris J. Chumley, set in her hometown of Bloomington, Ind.

Barnstone is currently professor of English in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

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