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2016 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Finalist is Meyer Leturer

Contributed by: Coralee Young
Published: Wednesday, 01 November 2017 7:00 AM

The BSU community is invited to hear Diane Seuss, 2016 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry at the 2017 Bruce F. and Ildiko B. Meyer Honors Memorial Lecture on Monday, December 4, at 4:00 in AJ 175. Seuss’s lecture is entitled Le Freak, C’est Chic: On Two-Headedness, Four-Leggedness, Poetry, and Form.”

Suess describes her lecture as:

How does a girl from a single-parent, working class family in rural Michigan find her way to poetry? Through what portal does poetry enter our lives, make itself known, and demand our devotion? We will consider a poet’s genesis. By turning our attention to writing by Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Terrance Hayes, and Diane Seuss, we will consider how traditional forms—from the hymn to the sonnet—can be adopted, adapted, and upended for the poets’ own provocative purposes. How might formal improvisation serve as an act of both homage and individuation, as a touchstone that allows us to journey deeper and deeper into our freakish originality?

Diane Seuss is the author of several collections of poetry, including Four-Legged Girl published in 2015 and finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open, published in 2010, was a Juniper Prize winner. Her first collection was It Blows You Hollow. Her poetry has appeared in a broad range of literary magazines, including American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Iowa Review, New England Review, and The New Yorker. Seuss was Writer in Residence at Kalamazoo College for many years, where she received the Florence J. Lucasse Award for excellence in both teaching and scholarship. Seuss’s fourth collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in May 2018.

The Bruce F. and Ildiko B. Meyer Honors Memorial Lecture was first presented in 2002, funded by an endowment established in 1998 by family and friends in memory of Dr. Bruce F. Meyer and his wife, Ildiko. Dr. Meyer was been a member of the Ball State faculty since 1973 and Honors College Dean from 1997 until his death in 1998. Ildiko B. Meyer graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah and received her master’s degree in psychology from Ball State University; Ildiko, who died in 1999, had been a school psychologist for New Castle and Muncie Community Schools.

Bonus Workshop!

Diane Seuss will also offer a workshop on poetry and memory on Tuesday, December 5, from 9:30 to 10:45AM in the Student Center Room 310A. Suess describes this session as:

Poetry is not a gift bestowed on a few rarefied geniuses, but a voice that lives within all of us. Poetry is not a luxury,” writes poet Audre Lorde. It is in fact, “a hidden source of power.” June Jordan, a poet and teacher, writes that “(T)he first function of poetry is to tell the truth.” Poetry, then, is not a gift but a birthright. In that spirit, this workshop is open to everyone. I will introduce a range of enjoyable prompts and freaky little forms that are guaranteed to offer opportunities for truth telling (and maybe a little pleasurable lying)! The workshop will be focused on writing as remembering our origins and the people and places that made us.

Workshop space is limited. Those interested in attending the workshop should contact Dr. Timothy Berg at