Poet Sherwin Bitsui Presents Workshop and Poetry Reading Tuesday, April 6, at UNK

Alison Hedge Coke
Reynolds Endowed Chair, 308.865.8672

UNK– Nebraska writers will have an opportunity to attend an afternoon workshop with award-winning poet Sherwin Bitsui, as well as hear him read from his works in an evening presentation Tuesday (April 6) at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

“In this workshop, we will attempt to enter the creative space by removing ourselves from the written work and letting the poetic image speak for itself,” Bitsui said. “In this way, we can get outside our drives for individual gain and into areas of articulation that reflect what is inherent in Dine’ language and through as the collective ‘we.’ In this space, we may discover something that binds us together.”

Bitsui, who is originally from a Navajo reservation in White Cone, Ariz., will present the Study with a Master Writers Workshop from 2-3 p.m. in the UNK Fine Arts Studio Theatre, which is located on the lower level of the UNK Fine Arts Building. The registration deadline is Monday (April 5). Individuals may register by contacting Allison Hedge Coke, UNK Reynolds Chair, at 308.865.8672 or hedgecokeaa@unk.edu. The registration fee is $30 for the public, and $25 for UNK students.

At 7:30 p.m., Bitsui will present a poetry reading of his work in the UNK Fine Arts Studio Theatre. The event free and open to the public.
Bitsui has published his poems in “American Poet,” “The Iowa Review,” “Frank” (Paris), “Lit Magazine” and elsewhere. His poems were also anthologized in ‘Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century.” He is the author of “Shapeshift,” which was published by the University of Arizona Press, and “Flood Song,” published by Copper Canyon Press.

He is a recipient of the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry Individual Poet Grant and the Lannan Foundation Marfa Writers’ Residency.
In addition, he has received the Whiting Writers Award and the MOCA Tucson Local Genius Award. He is a Medellin International Festival of Poetry Featured Poet and has won numerous awards, including a Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship and Naropa Poetry Prize. He has been a nominee for the Ford Foundation Fellow Sundance Film Institute and the Pushcart Prize.

The events, which are part of the third annual Sandhill Crane Migration Literary Retreat and Festival, are sponsored by a grant from the Nebraska Humanities Council, Endowed Reynolds Chair, UNK English department, Country Inn and Suites, The Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust, Rowe Sanctuary, Alley Rose, Barista’s, Panebello, NET Radio and KGFW Radio.

Bitsui holds an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program. He currently lives in Tucson and is Dine’ of the Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), was born for the Tl’izilani (Many Goats Clan). He is a rotating visiting faculty member of the Naropa University Summer Intensive and has been a UNK Reynolds Series Reader.