Inaugural poet Richard Blanco highlights spring Reiberg Reading Series at IUPUI

  • Feb. 18, 2014

For Immediate Release

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Spring 2014 Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis features President Barack Obama's second inaugural poet as a guest speaker.

The series kicks off with fiction writer and essayist Jacinda Townsend as guest reader on Thursday, Feb. 27. It concludes with a reading by 2013 inaugural poet Richard Blanco on Thursday, April 10.

Townsend will read from her works at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Lilly Auditorium of University Library, 755 W. Michigan St. Townsend's work is published in literary journals such as African Voices, Carve Magazine, The Maryland Review, Obsidian II, Passages North, Phoebe and Xavier Review, and anthologized in "Surreal South" and "Telling Stories: Fiction by Kentucky Feminists." Her nonfiction appears in two different series of "Chicken Soup for the Soul."

Townsend, who teaches writing fiction at Indiana University Bloomington, took her first creative writing class at Harvard and began registering for writing workshops while studying at Duke Law School. In 1999 she was a part of the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

Blanco's reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 10 in the Basile Auditorium of the Herron School of Art and Design, 735 W. New York St.

In 2013, Blanco served as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, reading “One Today” during Obama’s second inauguration. He is the youngest poet and the first Latino, immigrant and openly gay writer to hold the honor. Following the Boston Marathon bombing, he wrote “Boston Strong” and read the piece at a benefit concert for bombing victims, as well as a Red Sox baseball game. He published the poem in a limited edition "Boston Strong" chapbook and donated the proceeds to those most affected by the bombing.

Reiberg events are free and open to the public. The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series is sponsored by the Department of English in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Founded in 1997 in honor of former IUPUI Department of English chair and Professor Emeritus Rufus Reiberg and his wife, Louise, the annual Reiberg Reading series brings nationally and regionally known writers to the IUPUI campus to present their work.

Other spring Reiberg events include:

  • 15th Annual International Women’s Day Celebration, March 12; 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. performers, University Library Lilly Auditorium. This event features poetry, music, and visual art to honor the creativity of women around the world.
  • Bonderman Workshop, featuring poet Rochelle Hurt, 4 p.m. March 25, location to be announced. Hurt, winner of the 2013 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize from Crab Orchard Review, recently published a novel in poems, "The Rusted City."

Visitor parking for the series is available in the North Street Garage, 819 W. North St., and the Vermont Street Garage, 1004 W. Vermont St.

The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series is also made possible by the generous support of the Reiberg Family; the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research; the Office of Academic Affairs; University College; and University Library.

For more information about the series, contact Terry Kirts at tkirts@iupui.edu or 317-274-8929; or "like" the series’ Facebook page at The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series @ IUPUI.

Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco

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Jacinda Townsend

Jacinda Townsend

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Rochelle Hurt

Rochelle Hurt

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Diane Brown
Genevieve Shaker