WMU author to read from her latest poetry collection

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo of Judith Rypma.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—An award-winning Western Michigan University author will read from her latest book during a public reading at 8 p.m. Monday, March 30, on campus in 3025 Brown Hall.

Judith A. Rypma, master faculty specialist-lecturer of English, will read from "Amber Notes," a collection of poems published by FutureCycle Press in January.

About the book

"Rypma's poems recount a happy childhood, the joys and terrors of sexuality, and a mature woman's wanderlust," says her English department colleague Richard Katrovas, himself an award-winning writer. "'Amber Notes' is a world traveler's homage to the dance of permanence with transience. An insect in amber is the perfect emblem for this dance, and the image recurs throughout the book."

Many of Rypma's poems reflect her background as a travel journalist and an amateur geologist. Other poems explore the benefits and disappointments of old age.

As renowned poet and Atlantic Review editor Dan Veach puts it, "Forbidden fruit, ancient memory, healing talisman, comforting touch: Judith Rypma's 'Amber Notes' is all of these in turn. As she transports us across a lifetime and around the globe, from the domes of the Kremlin to the coral gardens of Fiji, we grow ever more grateful for this mineralogist's gift of 'polished agate for the mind.'"

Judith Rypma

Rypma has published more than 150 poems in literary journals, as well as six chapbooks. Among her most recent works are the chapbook "Sewing Lessons" and a collection of poems titled "Looking for the Amber Room" that traces the history and mystery of the eighth wonder of the world.

At WMU, Rypma teaches courses in mythology, folklore, world literature, and literature for children and adolescents. Her research areas include the folklore of mineralogy, Slavic myths and tales, Russian literature and culture, and poetry for young people.

She is a board member of the Kalamazoo-Pushkin Partnership and also directs the academic portion of the Kalamazoo Russian Festival, held annually at WMU. Her reading is being sponsored by the University's Department of English.

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