Poets Will Take Center Stage At The Kearney Merryman Performing Arts Center Thursday, March 13; UNK English

Alison Hedge Coke
Reynolds Endowed Chair, 308.865.8672

Writers will take center stage at the Kearney Merryman Performing Arts Center on Thursday, March 13, for a public reading taking place as part of the “Reynolds Series: Honoring the Sandhill Crane Migration Tribute Retreat.”
       The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature three University of Nebraska at Kearney English professors: Dr. Susanne Bloomfield, Distinguished Martin Chair; Dr. Charles Peek, English professor; and Dr. Don Welch, a former Reynolds Chair. In addition, guest authors Fredy Chicangana, Hugo Juagibioy, Dr. Janet McAdams and James Stevens will be reading from their works. The guest authors are in Kearney for the tribute retreat.
           Chicangana, a poet from the Yanacona Community of Sur-Oriente of the Cauca of Colombia, has had his work published by national magazines, newspapers and internacionales in the “Anthology of Indigenous Literature of America.” In addition, he has participated in continental encounters and national events for writers working to preserve indigenous languages in Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. His literary works often include the Yanacona culture, songs and stories.
Juagibioy is a poet, cultural and oral literature proponent, and indigenous human rights activist from the Kamentsa people of Putamayo, Colombia. He has performed in festivals throughout Latin America and has also read in Italy, Spain and the United States. His poetry is demonstrative of indigenous thought and philosophy.
       Jamioy Juagibioy is a poet, cultural and oral literature proponent, and indigenous human rights activist from the Kamentsa People of Putamayo, Colombia. He has performed as a crowd favorite invitational featured poet in festivals throughout Latin America, and has read in Italy, Spain and the United State.
       According to Allison Hedge Coke, current Reynolds Chair, his poetry is heavily demonstrative of indigenous thought and philosophy, its relevance to humanity is well-received and testifies to the right for Indigenous permanence and sustainability in a time where humanity has injured the planet in its taking of so many indigenous lives/people from the landscape of origin they serve to protect.
       “His people have bore the burden of the unwanted in a genocidal war upon them throughout his life,” she said. “The International Festival of Poetry in Medellin welcomes him year after year to please the crowds upward in the thousands who hang on his every word during presentation performances.” Juagibioy’s publications are numerous.
          Dr. McAdams joined the Kenyon faculty as the first Robert P. Hubbard Poetry Professor after teaching at the University of Oklahoma. Her courses at Kenyon are grounded in cross-cultural poetics and include American Indian literature and poetry writing. Her poetry collection includes, “The Island of Lost Luggage,” which won a 2001 American Book Award. Her more recent poems have appeared in “The Kenyon Review,” “Salt,” “The Poets Grimm,” and “TriQuarterly.” She is currently working on a book-length poem, “The Hunter Gatherers,” and a novel, “Red Weather.” In 2002, she was named “Mentor of the Year” by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.  
       Stevens is a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. An associate professor in the English department at State University New York in Fredonia, and the director of American Indian Studies there, he was a finalist for The National Poetry Series Award in 2005 and nominated for a Before Columbus/American Book Award in 2003. Among the awards he has received for his works are the Whiting Writer’s Award, Kim Ann Arstark Memorial Prize in Poetry, City of Santa Fe Writer’s Award and the Creative Writing Award at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He was a Witter-Bynner Foundation Poetry Grant recipient in 1993. Stevens spoke at the United Nations in 2006. Some of his books include: “A Bridge Dead in the Water,” “Mohawk/Samoa: Transmigrations” and “Combing the Snakes from His Hair.”
       Community and state sponsorship of the event includes: Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Humanities Council, Kearney Area Community Foundation, Rowe Sanctuary, Alley Rose, Elements, Baristas, the Frank House, Terri Lee Schiffrens and the Crane Frame Lodge, the Robert P. Merryman Performing Arts Center and the Museum of Nebraska Art.
       On campus support for the event includes the Reynolds Series; the Departments of English, Ethnic Studies and Modern Languages; Frank House; and the Offices of Greek & Residential Life and Multicultural Affairs. In addition, there have been anonymous donations.