As part of the English department’s Literary Forum series, National Book Award finalist Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon will read from her poetry Thursday, March 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Newton 214 (book signing and light reception to follow).
Van Clief-Stefanon is associate professor of English at Cornell University. She is the author of Open Interval, a 2009 National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist; Black Swan, winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize; and Poems in Conversation and a Conversation, a chapbook in collaboration with Elizabeth Alexander. Her work has appeared in such journals as African American Review, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, and Shenandoah, and in the anthologies Bum Rush the Page, Role Call, Common Wealth, Gathering Ground, and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. She is currently at work on a third collection, The Coal Tar Colors.
From the National Book Foundation: “Passionate and personal, innovative and elegant, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon’s Open Interval marries a wildness of vision with a lens-maker’s precision. The book takes on the actual astronomical phenomenon of ‘RR Lyrae’ stars not only to form a metaphor for the self, but to reveal a constellation of lyric impulses. In exploded sonnets, taut syllabics, Dickinsonian dashes, or that new poetic invention, the bop, Van Clief-Stefanon writes of science, rock-n-roll, and the history of a heart that could be hers, but speaks to all of ours.”