Acclaimed Poet Craig Paulenich to Read from New Book, "Drift of the Hunt," at MCCC April 19


Kent State professor Craig Paulenich will read from his newly released book of poetry, "Drift of the Hunt" (Nobodaddies Press, Sacramento, CA, 2006), at Mercer County Community College on Thursday, April 19 at 12 noon. Following the reading, he will discuss his craft and take questions from the audience. The event is presented free to the public as part of Mercer's Distinguished Lecture Series and will be held on the college's West Windsor campus in the Communications Building, CM110, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

In his new work, Paulenich reveals a mythic landscape of steel mills and coal mines, dingy rooms and alchemy. His shadowy personae, the Goat-Man, lives on society's margins and does his best in a frustratingly foreign everyday world. "Here," says poet Gail Wronsky, "is exquisite, profound and cautionary poetry born of both romance and earth, of dark magic and of even darker factories and mineshafts." "Drift of the Hunt" draws from Paulenich's ancestry and personal history: the foundries and steel mills of Western Pennsylvania; Eastern European folk tales; the Appalachian foothills of South Carolina and Georgia; Shamanism and Shinto; Gary Snyder's admonition that the poet should have one foot in the Pleistocene and one in the present; and the belief that there is a very fine line between horror and humor.

Cover of Paulenich's latest work, published by Nobodaddies Press, Sacramento, CA, 2006. Sculptures by Frank Fleming.

Thirty-one poems from this manuscript have been published nationally in literary journals including: The Georgia Review; Southern Poetry Review; Raccoon; South Carolina Review; Kansas Quarterly; Tar River Poetry; The Spoon River Poetry Review; Hiram Poetry Review; Tricycle: The Buddhist Review; and The Laurel Review; and internationally in The Fryburger: Frieburg's English Language Magazine; and The Windhorse Review. An early version of this manuscript was chosen as a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award at the University of Pittsburgh (1982). A later version was a semi-finalist for the New Issues Poetry Prize (1996); poems from the manuscript have earned nominations for the General Electric Foundation Awards for Younger Writers (1986) and a Pushcart Prize (1994).

Craig Paulenich teaches English at Kent State University-Salem Campus and is the Kent State coordinator for the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (NEOMFA). He is co-editor (with Kent Johnson) of "Beneath A Single Moon: Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry" (Shambhala Press, Boston, 1991), and following its publication, spent a year as a visiting professor of English at Shimane University, Matsue, Japan.

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