Professor Rob Merritt, chair of the English Department at Bluefield College and Dean of The College of Arts and Letters, will hold a poetry reading September 20 at Virginia Intermont as part of the College’s Convocation Series. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in Kennedy Auditorium of Science Hall. The public is invited.
Merritt is a professor of creative writing and British and American poetry and has published poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of journals. His most recent book of poetry, The Language of Longing, was published in 2012. Merritt is interested in how language and landscape can work as forces for cultural and personal healing. Currently he is writing an essay about fascinating connections between Appalachian and Chinese poetics.
The presentation will include readings from the four parts of The Language of Longing, highlighting some of Merritt’s personal journeys. The first part, “Listening to Mountains,” highlights strategies for carrying on in the shadowland of Appalachia, and “Trails” traces travels along the journey. “Everyday History” demonstrates Ezra Pound’s observation that “all ages are contemporaneous,” and the final piece, “Homage to Guides,” honors unlikely mentors who have revealed the route. Merritt may also include a brief example of creative nonfiction and will take questions from the audience.
In addition to the evening poetry session, Merritt will conduct a workshop from 2 – 5 p.m. the same day for VI students in the English department. For information about VI’s creative writing program, click here. For more information about the Convocation event, call Will Hankins at 276.466.7170.