Louisiana Poet Laureate to read poetry at Tech

Mar 21, 2012 | General News, Liberal Arts

As part of Academic Excellence Week at Louisiana Tech, Dr. Julie Kane, the current Louisiana Poet Laureate, will read her poetry at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 in George T. Madison Hall, Room 105.
Kane’s poetry collections are “Jazz Funeral” (Story Line Press, 2009), which won the Donald Justice Poetry Prize; “Rhythm & Booze” (University of Illinois Press, 2003), Maxine Kumin’s selection for the National Poetry Series and a finalist for the Poets’ Prize; and “Body and Soul” (Pirogue, 1987).
She is also the co-editor with Grace Bauer of “Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum: Critical and Creative Responses to Everette Maddox” (Xavier Review Press, 2006), which was a finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance book prize in poetry; and the associate editor for 20th century poetry of “Voices of the American South,” the Longman anthology of Southern literature (2005).  With Kiem Do, she co-authored the nonfiction Vietnam memoir “Counterpart: A South Vietnamese Naval Officer’s War” (Naval Institute Press, 1998), which became a History Book Club Featured Alternate Selection.
Her work has also been featured on “Poetry Daily,” “Verse Daily,” and “The Writer’s Almanac” with Garrison Keillor.  Her essays on poetry and literature have appeared in “Twentieth Century Literature,” “Modern Language Quarterly,” “PsyArt,” “Journal of Consciousness Studies,” “The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics” and many other journals and reference volumes.
“Dr. Kane is a superb poet,” said Dr. Donald Kaczvinsky, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “I first heard her read her poetry at a conference in New Orleans. As Poet Laureate she is the ‘official’ voice of the state as well as a highly personal voice, combining earthy phrasing with a careful attention to formal precision. Her reading illustrates the rich tradition of writers in the state and Tech’s continuing support of the arts.
Dr. Susan Roach, director of the School of Literature and Language, said hearing the state’s Poet Laureate speak is a wonderful opportunity.
“Her poetry can speak to everyone with its sensitive and dynamic imagery drawn from everyday life, which may be used in formalist verse,” she said. “It sometimes reflects her teacher Anne Sexton, one of my favorite poets.  It’s easy to see why she was named the state poet laureate because her work also displays a deep affinity for our state’s special places such as New Orleans, where she lived for some time.”
A former George Bennett Fellow in Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy, New Orleans Writer-in-Residence at Tulane University and Fulbright Scholar to Vilnius Pedagogical University (Lithuania), Kane is a professor of English at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
Her reading is sponsored by the Louisiana Tech University Department of English with support from the George E. Pankey Eminent Scholar Chair in English. The reading is open to the public at no charge.  On March 28, courtesy of the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, Kane will also read her poetry for Ruston High School English classes.