WMU News

Five new books of poetry set for release by New Issues

Oct. 1, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Five new books of poetry are being released in September and October by New Issues Poetry & Prose, which is based at Western Michigan University.

Four of the authors either live in Michigan or have ties to the state. The authors and their books are: Robert Haight, "Emergences and Spinner Falls;" Rodney Torreson, "A Breathable Light;" Vito Aiuto, "Self-Portrait as Jerry Quarry;" Rebecca Reynolds, "The Bovine Two-Step;" and Gretchen Mattox, "Goodnight Architecture." The books by Haight, Torreson and Aiuto are September releases. Books by Reynolds and Mattox will be released in October.

Haight, a WMU alumnus, was born in Detroit and also studied at Michigan State University. His articles, essays and poems have appeared in The Rockford Review, Oxford Magazine, The South Coast Poetry Journal, South Florida Poetry Review, Contemporary Michigan Poetry and elsewhere. He has won awards from the Poetry Resource Center of Michigan, WMU, the Kalamazoo Foundation and the Arts Foundation of Michigan. An avid fly fisherman and committed environmentalist, he teaches writing at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and lives in Cass County.

After growing up in Iowa, Torreson moved with his wife Paulette to Grand Rapids, Mich., where he teaches at Immanuel-St. James Lutheran School. In addition to "A Breathable Light," he is the author of "The Ripening of Pinstripes: Called Shots on the New York Yankees," published by Story Line Press. The book won praise from such diverse sources as Publishers Weekly and longtime Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell.

Aiuto, author of "Self-Portrait as Jerry Quarry," was raised in Tecumseh, Mich., and earned a master's degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has since worked as a pastor and as an outreach worker to the homeless. He is currently a Presbyterian minister in New York City, where he lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Monique.

Reynolds was born and grew up in Washington, D.C., and received degrees from Vassar College, Rutgers University and the University of Michigan. She has received a Hopwood Award, a New Jersey State Council of the Arts grant, and the 1998 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America for her 1997 New Issues Press release "Daughter of the Hangnail." Reynolds works at Douglass College, the women's college of Rutgers University, as an assistant dean for academic services.

Mattox was born in Denver and educated at the University of Colorado, New York University and Columbia University. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Edward Albee Foundation and Yaddo, as well as an instructor at The New School for Social Research, Antioch University and Loyola Marymount University. She lives in Los Angeles, where she co-edits the publication Pool.

New Issues Poetry & Prose receives support from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs for Michigan authors published as part of New Issues' Inland Seas book project.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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