January 16, 2009                   

AMHERST, Mass. — Poet Craig Arnold will read from his work at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5, in Pruyne Lecture Hall of Amherst College’s Fayerweather Hall. Sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center, the event is open to the public at no charge.

Arnold’s debut collection, Shells, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets, the nation’s most prestigious award for a first book. His writing has appeared in three volumes of Best American Poetry as well as in Poetry, Yale Review, The Paris Review and many more of the country’s most prominent journals. A veteran of the slam poetry scene, his live performances are legendary—or, as the Portland Mercury put it: “Best. Poetry reading. Ever.”

Arnold’s most recent volume, Made Flesh, is a mythological rhapsody on the themes of love, death, madness and “the joy of self-forgetting.” The book has received rave reviews from Publishers Weekly (“a delayed depth charge ...  explosive ... erotic and ever-alert ... the strangest and most instinctively powerful poetry book of the season”) and Time Out New York (“surreal, hilarious, subtly dark and chatty as a cartoon”).

Arnold recently returned to the United States from Bogotá, Colombia, where he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad de los Andes. At home, he is assistant professor of poetry at the University of Wyoming. This spring and summer, he will go to Japan to continue work on a book about solitude, society, pilgrimage and volcanoes.

Every year, the Amherst College Creative Writing Center sponsors a reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. All events are wheelchair accessible and followed by refreshments. For more information, please call 413/542-8200.