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Award-winning poet to do public reading at SUNY Cortland

Award-winning poet Donna Masini will give a public reading and discussion of her work during a book signing event on Wednesday, April 20, at SUNY Cortland.

Masini, a professor of English/creative writing at Hunter College, City University of New York, will also offer SUNY Cortland students, faculty and staff an exclusive, one-time poetry master class earlier that day.

The public event, which is free and open to all, starts at 5 p.m. in the Sperry Center, Mary L. Hobson ’61 Lecture Hall. Masini’s books will be available for sale, courtesy of the university’s Campus Store, at the signing.

The master class, which is limited to the campus community, will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. in Old Main Colloquium. Registration for the master class is required.

Masini’s public presentation continues the English Department’s Distinguished Voices in Literature series.

“Masini is a notable addition to this year’s reading series because she is not just an outstanding writer, she is an outstanding teacher,” said English Department instructor Heather Bartlett, director of the Distinguished Voices in Literature series. “Our students and community have much to gain from her visit.”

Michael Turner, coordinator for the university’s Writing Center and organizer of the master class, echoed the opportunity that Masini’s visit offers.

“This is a generative workshop in which (students) will work directly with Donna Masini,” he said. “She will talk about poetry, share writing prompts and discuss craft.”

Masini is the author of three books of poetry, 4:30 Movie (W.W. Norton and Co., 2018), Turning to Fiction (Norton, 2004) and That Kind of Danger (Beacon Press, 1994). She also has written a novel, About Yvonne (Norton, 1998).

Her verses have appeared in journals and anthologies including Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Paris Review, Brooklyn Poets and Best American Poetry 2015.

The lifelong New York City resident has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, and the Barnard Women Poets prize as well as fellowship residencies at Civitella Ranieri, Bogliasco and Yaddo.

“Donna Masini’s work resonates because it is intimate and public at the same time,” Bartlett noted. “With her poems, she gives us brief moments of escape and recognition — a movie theatre, a waiting room, a memory — that change us and stay with us.”

In addition to the English Department, the Distinguished Voices in Literature event is sponsored by the President’s Office, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs’ Office, the Campus Artist and Lectures Series, the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee, Cortland Auxiliary and the Writing Center.

For more information about the series, contact Bartlett. For more information about the workshop, contact Turner.


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