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We wait for the moon to rise so we can enter
the woods and hang statues of saints from the trees.

In a thicket, a doe bent in what could be prayer
nudges her young, waiting for it to rise

from its cold sleep. Owls listen for mice beneath
the snow. The messenger of the gods is also a god.

— Traci Brimhall, “Winter Nocturne”

For the first reading of the 2012-2013 academic year, the SBC creative writing program welcomes award-winning poet Traci Brimhall. She will read Wednesday, September 26, at 4:30 p.m. in the Anne Gary Pannell Gallery. The reading is free and open to the public.

Traci Brimhall is the author of Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton, 2012), selected by Carolyn Forché for the 2011 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010), winner of the 2009 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Award. Her poems have appeared in New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Slate, The Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, FIELD, Indiana Review and Southern Review. She is a former Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, a current Emerging Writer Fellow at The Writer’s Center, and the 2012 Summer Poet in Residence at the University of Mississippi. She has also received scholarships and fellowships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Disquiet International Literary Program.

She holds degrees from Florida State University and Sarah Lawrence College. Currently, she teaches creative writing at Western Michigan University where she is a doctoral candidate and a King/Chávez/Parks Fellow. She also serves as Editor-in-Chief for Third Coast and Editor at Large for Loaded Bicycle.

Poet Gregory Orr praised Brimhall’s new book by writing, “Traci Brimhall’s Our Lady of the Ruins invites us into a richly-textured landscape and the seekers and pilgrims who restlessly, relentlessly explore its darker reaches in search of meanings. It’s as if a Tarot deck came alive and its characters told their stories in stark, imaginative narratives that made their world more real and urgent than the one we inhabit. This is visionary poetry sustained at the highest level—a book full of lucid dreams alive with menace and quest.”

Many of Brimhll’s poems are available online, including “What They Found in the Diving Bell, ” “Aubade With A Broken Neck,” “Through A Glass Darkly,” and “Hysteria: A Requiem.”

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