WMU News

English department gets renowned visiting writer

Oct. 1, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Nationally recognized poet Bob Hicok has joined the Western Michigan University English faculty for the 2002-03 academic year.

Hicok, the Department of English's most recently announced visiting writer and instructor, is the author of three books: "Animal Soul," "Plus Shipping" and "The Legend of Light." A fourth, "Insomnia Diary," is expected out next spring. The winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes, Hicok is the author of poems that have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Ploughshares and Best American Poetry. Hicok's first book, "The Legend of Light," was named an American Library Association Booklist Notable Book of the Year, and his most recent, "Animal Soul," was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

A native of Grand Ledge, Mich., Hicok has lived and worked as an automotive die designer in Ann Arbor, Mich., for more than 17 years. He is taking a break from his own die design company, Progressive Technology, to teach two poetry classes at WMU, one of which is at the graduate level. Hicok says that the break from his design work has allowed him some much needed relief through writing, which is what he enjoys most of all.

Hicok has taught on WMU's campus, in the past, as a part of the Third Coast Writers Conference. The conference, which is sponsored by the WMU Department of English, is designed as a celebration of literature and features some of the nation's most prominent writers as workshop and panel discussion leaders. Participants in the conference get a chance to polish their skills and share their work with other successful and aspiring authors.

Hicok also has participated in the University of Tennessee's Meacham Writers Conference and has taught creative writing workshops for the Writer's Voice in Detroit and Ann Arbor.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, 269 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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