Friday, April 17, 2015

Award-Winning Poet Visits English Class

English Dept. Chair, Dave Reynolds, hosted a visit this week from award-winning poet, Cathy Song. Students and teachers alike were excited and challenged critically and creatively by what she shared.

Cathy Song was born in Wahiawa, Hawaii and graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor's degree in 1977 and from Boston University in 1981 with a master's degree in Creative Writing. Song associated with the Hawai‘i literary journal Bamboo Ridge in its early days in 1978, and continues to collaborate with writers from that community. Her first book of poetry, Picture Bride, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1983. Song won the Hawai‘i Award for Literature in 1993. That same year, the Poetry Society of America awarded Song the Shelley Memorial Award. In the early fall of 1994, she was invited to travel to Korea and Hong Kong under the United States Information Agency's Arts America program. In 1997, Song was one of the recipients of the annual Literature Awards ($20,000), awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In choosing Song's first book for the Yale Series, Richard Hugo wrote, "Her poems are flowers: colorful, sensual, and quiet, and they are offered almost shyly as bouquets to those moments in life that seemed minor but in retrospect count the most. She often reminds a loud, indifferent, hard world of what truly matters to the human spirit."