SC Poets Celebrated During Poetry Reading
Aiken, SC (09/05/2019) — The University of South Carolina Aiken English Department invites the public to a free poetry reading, Sept. 25, at 6:30 p.m., in Penland, Room 106. The event features the authors published in the anthology Archive: South Carolina Poets since 2005.
Dr. Jeffrey Makala, the special collections librarian and university archivist at Furman University, is the guest speaker. He edited the anthology and will talk about South Carolina poetry and the genesis of the book. Afterward, poets published in the anthology, including Dr. David Bruzina, Dr. Ray McManus, Dr. Gilbert Allen, Kimberly J. Simms, Roy Seeger and Dr. Jacquelyn Markham, will read their own work. USC Aiken's own professors, Seeger and Bruzina, are among those taking part in the program, which concludes with a book signing.
South Carolina poets featured in the recently released anthology are among the state's accomplished writers and literary faculty members from a number of institutions.
- Dr. Jeffrey Makala has worked in special collections and archives at Furman for more than 20 years and has written on 19th century American literature and the history of the book in the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Literature & History, and The Oxford Companion to the Book. His doctoral work focused on the intersections of literature, culture, and the history of technology in 19th century America. He teaches classes in the history of the book and regularly welcomes student classes into special collections to directly interact with historical documents.
- Dr. Gilbert Allen has lived in Greenville County since 1977 and is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Catma (Measure Press). His work has received the South Carolina Literary Arts Fellowship, the Robert Penn Warren Prize from The Southern Review, and Special Mention in Pushcart Prize XXXVII. His poems have also been featured in Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, and The Writer's Almanac. He was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors in 2014 and is the Benette E. Geer Professor of Literature Emeritus at Furman University.
- Dr. Ray McManus is the author of three books of poetry: Punch (Hub City Press, 2014), Red Dirt Jesus (Marick Press, 2011), and Driving through the Country before You Are Born (University of South Carolina Press, 2007). He is an associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina Sumter, where he teaches Irish literature, Southern literature and creative writing. He also directs the South Carolina Center for Oral Narrative.
- Roy Seeger is a senior instructor at the University of South Carolina Aiken. His first full-length collection of poetry, The Boy Whose Hands were Birds, won the 2008 Main Street Rag Poetry Competition. He has also published two poetry chapbooks, The Garden of Improbable Birds (Gribble Press, 2007) and Prayer Book for the Midwestern Agnostic (Main Street Rag, 2014). His poems have appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, Jasper and Gulf Coast, and have been featured in Verse Daily. He is the recipient of the 2018 Carrie Nickens McCray Fellowship in Poetry.
- Kimberly Simms was the 2016 Carl Sandburg National Historic Site writer-in-residence (Flat Rock, NC) and is a member of the South Carolina Humanities Council's Speaker's Bureau. In her debut book of poems, Linda Lee: Songs on Mill Hill (Finishing Line Press, 2017), Simms chronicles the lives of textile workers in the Piedmont. Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University.
- Dr. Jacquelyn Markham is the author of two chapbooks and a full-length poetry collection, Peering Into the Iris: An Ancestral Journey. She has poems published in Anthology of Appalachian Writers; Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology, Lullwater Review, The Greensboro Review and several other poetry journals and anthologies. She is a member of the Poetry Society of South Carolina, Otram Slabess Poets, and Spirit Writers of the Lowcountry.