All readings begin at 4:10 pm in the Cheever Room of Finn House,
102 W. Wiggin St., Gambier, Ohio.
Thursday, January 26th
Matt Kish was born in 1969 and lives in the middle of Ohio. After stints as a cafeteria cook, a hospital registrar, a bookstore manager, and an English teacher, he ended up as a librarian. Inspired by one of the world’s greatest novels, he set out on an epic voyage of his own one day in August 2009. More than one hundred and fifty years following the original publication of Moby-Dick, Kish began illustrating Herman Melville’s classic, creating images based on text selected from every page of the 552-page Signet Classics paperback edition. Completely self-taught, Kish refused to set any boundaries for the artwork and employed a deliberately low-tech approach in response to the increasing popularity of born-digital art and literature. He used found pages torn from old, discarded books, as well as a variety of mediums, including ballpoint pen, marker, paint, crayon, ink, and watercolor. By layering images on top of existing words and images, Kish has crafted a visual masterpiece that echoes the layers of meaning in Melville’s narrative. In retrospect, Kish says he feels as foolhardy as Ishmael, the novel’s narrator, and as obsessed as Captain Ahab in his quest for the great white whale. “I see now that the project was an attempt to fully understand this magnificent novel, to walk through every sun-drenched word, to lift up all the hatches and open all the barrels, to smell, taste, hear, and see every seabird, every shark, every sailor, every harpooner, and every whale,” he says. “It was a hard thing, a very painful thing, but the novel now lives inside me in a away it never could have before.” Kish spent nearly every day for eighteen months toiling away in a small closet he converted into an art studio. In order to share the work with family and friends, he started the blog “One Drawing for Every page of Moby-Dick,” where he posted art and brief description about his process on a daily basis. Tin House Books published the collected drawings in 2011 as Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page.
Thursday, February 9th
Amit Majmudar is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist and an award-winning poet whose work has been featured in The Best American Poetry 2007, the New Yorker, and Poetry magazine. His first poetry collection, 0°, 0°, was published by Northwestern University Press in 2009, and a novella, Azazel, was serialized in The Kenyon Review. Partitions, a novel about the India/Pakistan border came out in 2011 from Metropolitan Books. A second book of poems, Heaven and Earth, was published by Story Line Press in 2011.
Andrew Hudgins is the author of American Rendering: New and Selected Poems (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010), Shut Up, You’re Fine: Poems for Very, Very Bad Children (Overlook Press 2009), Ecstatic in the Poison (Sewanee/Overlook Press 2003), Babylon in a Jar (Houghton Mifflin 1998), The Glass Anvil (University of Michigan 1997), Saints and Strangers, After The Lost War: A Narrative, The Never-Ending: New Poems, The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood. Hudgins is the recipient of the Witter Bynner Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Saints and Strangers, and finalist for the National Book Award for After the Lost War. He received The Poet’s Prize for After the Lost War and the Haines Prize for poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He has also recieved The Taft Distinguished Faculty Award, the Ohioiana Award for lifetime contributions to poetry in Ohio and two NEA fellowships. In 2007, he was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Thursday, February 23rd
Michael Dumanis teaches literature and creative writing at Cleveland State University, where he serves as Director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center and edits the books in their poetry series. His first collection of poems, My Soviet Union, won the Juniper Prize for Poetry and was published in 2007 by the University of Massachusetts Press. He is also the co-editor, with poet Cate Marvin, of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century and the Section Editor for the poetries of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Russia, and Slovakia in the Graywolf Press anthology The New European Poets, edited by Kevin Prufer and Wayne Miller. His poems have appeared in such journals as Conduit, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, New England Review, Post Road, Prairie Schooner, and Verse, and his writing has been recognized with a Fulbright Fellowship, a James Michener Fellowship in Fiction, a grant from the Ohio Arts Council, and fellowships to Yaddo, the Wesleyan Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbertide, Italy.
Andrew Grace lives in Gambier, OH with his wife Tory and daughter Lily. His books include Sancta (Ahsahta Press, 2012), Shadeland (Ohio State University Press, 2008), and A Belonging Field (Salt Publishing, 2002). Grace was chosen runner-up for the 2009 Sawtooth Poetry Prize by Rae Armantrout. In 2008-2010, he was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He currently serves as a consulting editor for The Kenyon Review.