Thursday, October 6, 7:30 pm
Lilly Auditorium, IUPUI University Library, 755 W. Michigan St.
Maurice Manning is on a roll. If you’ve met him, if you’ve been in his poetry class at DePauw or IU or Warren Wilson, you might not have even known that he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Many of his friends and colleagues didn’t know until it got media attention. He tends to be humble about these things.
Manning was born and raised in Danville, Ky., and those roots are important to him—he’s worked meticulously to combat mountaintop removal and other things that plague his home in Appalachia. He’s interested in preservation. But he’s also spent a good deal of time in Indiana. Manning attended Earlham College before earning his MFA at the University of Alabama. He returned to Indiana to teach at DePauw University. Since the fall of 2004, Manning has taught in the creative writing program at IU.
Manning’s first collection of poems, Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions, was awarded the Yale Younger Poets Award—chosen by W.S. Merwin. His subsequent books include A Companion for Owls: Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Lone Hunter, Back Woodsman (2004), Bucolics (2007) and The Common Man (2010), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.
His poetry deals with characters whose history and voices aren’t necessarily his own, or not entirely so. It's also steeped in research and curiosity and imagination. Manning also sets rules for himself with meter and length and the refusal to use certain words. These books are worth reading and re-reading, but Manning’s voice—especially when referencing various characters within the poems—adds something that can’t be experienced when merely flipping through the pages alone. He sort of performs them.
Manning will present his work in the Lilly Auditorium of IUPUI’s University Library as a part of the Rufus and Louise Reiberg Reading Series. Readings are free and open to the public. Map and directions are available at University Library's website.