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UM News
January 31, 2013


Award-winning poets and fiction writers are scheduled to deliver readings and lectures at The University of Montana as part of the Creative Writing Program’s upcoming Spring Reading Series.

The series will feature poets Ed Skoog, Elizabeth Robinson and Alice Notley, novelist Robert Seidman, the student winner of the Merriam-Frontier Award, a career conference titled “Putting Liberal Arts to Work” and thesis readings by graduating M.F.A. students.

Skoog is the author of two poetry collections: “Mister Skylight” and “Rough Day,” and his poems have appeared in several journals and poetry reviews. He has received residencies from The Richard Hugo House, George Washington University and others. He currently coordinates the summer poetry program for the Idyllwild Arts Foundation.

Robinson has written 11 collections of poetry, most recently “Counterpart” and “The Orphan and Its Relations.” Her work has appeared in the Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly and New American Quarterly. She co-edits 26 magazine, the EtherDome Chapbook series and Instance Press.

Notley has published more than 30 poetry books, including Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize winner “Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems” and Pulitzer Prize finalist “Mysteries of Small Houses.” She has received the Los Angeles Times Book Award for poetry, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Active in the New York poetry scene of the 1970s, Notley often is identified with the second generation of New York School poets.

Seidman is the author of four books, including “Moments Captured,” which is loosely based on the life of Eadweard Muybridge, the photographer whose trotting horse images led to the invention of the motion picture projector in 1879. Seidman’s documentary “Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life,” about the gifted composer and arranger, aired nationally on the Public Broadcasting Service in 2007 and won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Documentary Script, a George Foster Peabody Award and an Emmy Award for Best Documentary.

The Merriam-Frontier Award is open to UM undergraduate and graduate students during autumn semester. The award was established by H.G. Merriam, UM professor of English and creative writing from 1919 to 1954, and consists of a $500 prize and publication of the winning entry as a chapbook.

“Putting Liberal Arts to Work” is a career conference for writers, readers and thinkers. The conference will feature an assortment of panels on career choices for liberal arts students and a keynote address.

All Spring Reading Series events are free and open to the public.

The schedule of events is:

  • Friday, Feb. 8: Ed Skoog poetry reading, 7 p.m., Turner Hall Dell Brown Room.
  • Friday, Feb. 22: Merriam-Frontier Award Reception and Reading, 4 p.m., Poetry Corner of the Mansfield Library, fifth floor.
  • Friday, March 1: Robert Seidman fiction reading, 7 p.m., Turner Hall Dell Brown Room.
  • Friday, March 15: “Putting Liberal Arts to Work” conference, 1-5 p.m., University Center, third floor.
  • Friday, March 22: Elizabeth Robinson poetry reading, 7 p.m., Turner Hall Dell Brown Room.
  • Friday, April 12: Alice Notley poetry craft lecture: “Alette Update: 2013,” 12:10-1 p.m., McGill Hall Room 210.
  • Friday, April 12: Alice Notley poetry reading, 7 p.m., Turner Hall Dell Brown Room.
  • Friday, April 19-Sunday, May 5: M.F.A. student thesis readings. Times and locations will be listed on the Creative Writing Program website at

Each semester the UM Creative Writing Program presents literary events and readings for the students and faculty of the University and the Missoula community in general. The Spring Reading Series is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, the President’s Writers-in-Residence Series, the Office of the Provost and the Mansfield Library.

For more information call Creative Writing Program Coordinator Karin Schalm at 406-243-5267 or email





Contact: Karin Schalm, coordinator, UM Creative Writing Program, 406-243-5267,