D&E welcomes Hoppenthaler for Writers’ Series


ELKINS — Davis & Elkins College will host two-term Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the Eastern Region of North Carolina and award-winning poet John Hoppenthaler for the 21st annual D&E Writers’ Series. Events planned for Wednesday and Thursday, a writer’s workshop, poetry reading and book signing, are free and open to the public.

The workshop runs from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Community Room of Booth Library and is open to anyone interested in enhancing their creative writing skills. Hoppenthaler will present a reading from his most recent work, “Domestic Garden,” as well as other poems at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Great Hall of Halliehurst. A book signing and reception will take place afterward.

“In ‘Domestic Garden,’ Hoppenthaler achieves something remarkable: with grace, and in meticulously crafted poems, he articulates human truths about the most significant life experiences, among them: falling in love, marriage, cultivating friendships, illness and death, and work,” said D&E Professor of English and Chair of the Division of Humanities Dr. Bill King. “These poems are at turns joyous and haunting. Like a productive patch of ground to a gardener, they keep the reader coming back again and again.”

“Domestic Garden” received the Brockman-Campbell Award for the best collection of poetry by a North Carolinian in 2015. Hoppenthaler is also the author of “Anticipate the Coming Reservoir” (2008), and “Lives of Water” (2003), both with Carnegie Mellon University Press.

His poetry has appeared in many journals, anthologies, and textbooks, including “Ploughshares,” “Virginia Quarterly Review,” “McSweeney’s Internet Tendency,” “Southern Review,” “Christian Science Monitor,” “Southeast Review,” “The Laurel Review,” “The Florida Review,” “West Branch,” “The Literary Review,” and “Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia” (West Virginia UP, 2017).

With Kazim Ali, he co-edited a volume of essays on the poetry of Jean Valentine, “This-World Company” (U of Michigan P, 2012). His essays, interviews, and essay/reviews appear in such journals as “Arts & Letters,” “Southeast Review,” “Chelsea,” “Bellingham Review,” “Pleiades,” “The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry,” “The Cortland Review,” “Tar River Poetry,” “Waccamaw,” “North Carolina Literary Review,” and “Kestrel,” where he served as poetry editor for 11 years. He currently serves as advisory editor to the cultural journal “Connotation Press: An Online Artifact,” where he edits “A Poetry Congeries.”

A native of New York City, New York, and former resident of Parkersburg and Morgantown, Hoppenthaler was personal assistant to Nobel laureate in literature Toni Morrison for nine years. He currently serves as professor of English and creative writing at Eastern Carolina University.

His work has earned many honors including the ECU 5-Year Achievement for Research & Creative Activity Award, the ECU Department of English Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity, an Individual Artist Grant from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, grants from the New York Foundation on the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts, and the North Carolina Community Council for the Arts, and Residency Fellowships from The Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, the MacDowell Colony, the Elizabeth Bishop House and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Hoppenthaler holds a Master of Fine Arts in English and creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Bachelor of Science in English with a minor in American history from State University of New York at Brockport and an Associate in Art in humanities and creative writing from Rockland Community College.

The D&E Writers’ Series has a long tradition of bringing to campus award-winning writers including Rebecca Gayle Howell, Marc Harshman, Ann Pancake, Silas House, Gwen Rubio, Maggie Anderson, Michael Chitwood, Mark Nowak, Karen McElmurray, Irene McKinney, Judson Mitchum, Liz Robbins, Jim Clark and Lynelle Edwards, among others.


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