Join host J. Riley Caldwell-O'Keefe, director of Amherst College’s Center for Teaching and Learning, in conversation with Northampton's own poet laureate, Karen Skolfield.
This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Karen Skolfield’s book Battle Dress won the 2018 Barnard Women Poets Prize. Frost in the Low Areas won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry and the First Book Award from Zone 3 Press. The poet laureate for Northampton, Mass., for 2019–2021, Skolfield has won the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry from The Missouri Review, 2015 Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and 2015 Arts & Humanities Award from New England Public Radio, among other awards and fellowships. Her poems can be found in dozens of journals and magazines. Skolfield is a U.S. Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned her M.F.A.
J. Riley Caldwell-O’Keefe directs Amherst College’s Center for Teaching and Learning. She was recently elected to the Core Committee of the Professional and Organizational Development Network. Previously, Caldwell-O’Keefe was a faculty member in the Boise State University theater department and associate director of the general education program. She served 10 years in the U.S. Air Force and traveled the world as stage manager for Air Force Entertainment’s Tops in Blue, then drew on this experience for her master’s and doctoral work, which she completed at UC Santa Barbara with a feminist studies emphasis. Her current research focuses on implicit bias in course evaluations, students as pedagogical partners, and teaching and learning at small liberal arts colleges.
Join host Jennifer Acker '00, founder and editor-in-chief of The Common literary magazine, with special guest Jesmyn Ward, the first woman and first person of color to win the National Book Award for Fiction twice, for the novels Salvage the Bones (2011) and Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017).
This event is free and open to the public, to be followed by audience Q&A and book signing.
Ward's memoir, Men We Reaped, deals with the loss of five young men in her life. Ward edited the critically acclaimed anthology The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, a New York Times best-seller. In 2020, she will release Navigate Your Stars, an adaptation of her 2018 Tulane University commencement speech. A professor of creative writing at Tulane, Ward received the 2016 Strauss Living award and a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, and was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2018.
Jennifer Acker ’00 is founder and editor-in-chief of The Common and author of the debut novel The Limits of the World. Her short stories, essays, translations and reviews have appeared in Amazon Original Stories, The Washington Post, Literary Hub, n+1, Guernica, The Yale Review and Ploughshares, among other places. Acker has an M.F.A. from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches writing and editing at Amherst College, where she directs the Literary Publishing Internship and LitFest.