KALAMAZOO—Three talented alumni of the Western Michigan University Creative Writing Program will serve the next course in the Spring 2014 Gwen Frostic Reading Series.
The reading will feature Cullen Bailey Burns, Lisa Lenzo and Mitch Vermeersch at 8 p.m. Friday, March 21, in 208-210 Bernhard Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Cullen Bailey Burns
Burns lives in Minneapolis and Sturgeon Lake, Minn. Her first book, "Paper Boat," was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award in poetry. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including The Denver Quarterly, Rattle, The Laurel Review and Court Green. She is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Fellowship, the Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches English at Century College and keeps bees on her farm in northern Minnesota.
Lenzo lives in southwestern Michigan, where she drives and dispatches for the local bus company and writes. Her first story collection, "Within the Lighted City," was chosen by Ann Beattie for an Iowa Short Fiction Award and published by the University of Iowa Press. Her second story collection, "Strange Love," is forthcoming from Wayne State University Press through its Made in Michigan Series. Lenzo's short fiction and essays have appeared in The Mississippi Review Prize Issue, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Italian-American Reader, Birth: A Literary Guide, Sacred Ground: Stories About Home, and Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes. Lenzo's stories have won a Hemingway Days Award and a PEN Fiction Award, while one was read on NPR. Her novel, "Taking the Blue Star," made the top 12 for the 2012 James Jones First Novel Award.
Vermeersch's play "Radio Gaga" won Best Overall Play at the 2007 WMU Creative Writing Awards. He was a member of the National Theater Institute's Theatermakers Program at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn., and a founding member of The Ruckus Theater Company in Chicago. His plays have been produced at WMU, Kalamazoo College, The Black Hills Theater in Grand Rapids, The Hygienic Art Park in New London, Conn., and The Side Project Theater in Chicago. The Ruckus Theater's recent production of his play, "Heist Play," received a recommendation from the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.
About the series
The Frostic Reading Series presents acclaimed creative writers from across the nation and beyond. Every year, a diverse range of readings that encompasses poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama attract both campus and off-campus audiences.
For more information, visit wmich.edu/english/events/frostic.html.