Spectrum of Poetic Fire 2004, The Return of the Scribes  

The Class of 2004 Spectrum Readers....

  • Ishmael Reed
  • Galway Kinnell

Loyola College Modern Masters....

  • John Burnside
  • Julia Glass
  • Sven Birkerts
  • Madeline DeFrees

Readers For 2004....

Ishmael Reed
April 14 & 15, 2004
Ishmael Reed has written many highly acclaimed novels including Mumbo Jumbo, The Terrible Twos, The Free-lance Pallbearers, and The Last Days of Louisiana Red, as well as several books of poetry. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and has been twice nominated for the National Book Award. Mr. Reed has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the American Civil Liberties Award, among others. He lives in Oakland, California.

Galway Kinnell
October, 2004
Galway Kinnell is a former MacArthur Fellow and has been state poet of Vermont. In 1982 his Selected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He teaches at New York University, where he is the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing. For thirty-five years-from What a Kingdom it Was to the Book of Nightmares to Three Books--Galway Kinnell has been enriching American poetry, not only by his poems but also by his teaching and his powerful public readings.
John Burnside
Wednesday February 4, 2004
John Burnside was born in 1955, and now lives in Fife. There is a marked divergence in theme and tone between his poetry and his prose work. He allows poetry sequences to emerge organically in his imagination, without much conscious intervention. The Hoop (1988) was followed by Common Knowledge (1991), Feast Days (1992, winner of The Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), The Myth of the Twin (1994), Swimming in the Flood (1995), A Normal Skin (1999), and The Asylum Dance (2000). Elvis Presley, an iconic figure to the young John Burnside, gives his name to the title of the short story collection Burning Elvis (2000). His novels, in contrast to his poetry, are the result of a controlled process and they are altogether darker. The Dumb House (1997) is a sinister tale of children being used in a crazy experiment on language. Questions concerning the nature of masculinity have inspired The Mercy Boys (1999), centering on the hard-drinking Scottish male, and The Locust Room (2001), an unnerving but ultimately tender take on male sexuality. The Asylum Dance won the 2001 Whitbread Poetry Award.
Julia Glass
Monday February 23, 2004
Julia Glass was awarded a 2000 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in fiction writing and has won several prizes for her short stories, including three Nelson Algren Awards and the Tobias Wolff Award. "Collies," the first part of Three Junes, won the 1999 Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society Medal for Best Novella. She lives with her family in New York City, where she works as a freelance journalist and editor.
Sven Birkerts
Thursday April 15, 2004
Sven Birkerts was born in Pontiac, Michigan into a family of Latvian immigrants.  He attended the University of Michigan and spent many of his youthful years as a bookseller.  He has been a reviewer and critic for many publications including The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, Wig Wag, Esquire and The New York Observer.  His books include An Artificial Wilderness: Essays on 20th Century Literature, The Electric Life: Essays on Modern Poetry, The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age, American Energies: Essays on Fiction, Readings and he has edited Tolstoy's Dictaphone: Technology and the Muse. His newest book—a memoir of sorts—is My Sky Blue Trades: Growing Up Counter in a Contrary Time. Sven Birkerts teaches at Mount Holyoke College, is a member of the core faculty of the low-residency Bennington Writing seminars, edits the literary journal AGNI and lives in Arlington, Massachusetts with his family.
Madeline DeFrees
Wednesday April 21, 2004
Madeline DeFrees was born in Ontario, Oregon in 1919 and moved to Hillsboro in 1923. After graduation from St. Mary's Academy in Portland, she entered the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, where she was known for many years as Sister Mary Gilbert. After receiving a B.A. degree from Maryhurst College and an M.A. from the University of Oregon, she taught at Holy Names College in Spokane from 1950 to 1967. While still a nun, she taught at the University of Montana, in Missoula, from 1967 to 1979. In late 1973 she was dispensed from her religious vows. She taught at the University of Massachusetts from 1979 to 1985, after which she retired to Seattle.  DeFrees is the author of seven full-length poetry collections, including Blue Dusk (Copper Canyon, 2001), winner of the 2002 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and a Washington Book Award, and two chapbooks, as well as two non-fiction books about convent life. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry and a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts.