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Iowa Poet Carol Gilbertson to Read Her Work

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Carol Gilbertson will read poems from her new chapbook collection of poems Friday, February 3, 2012, 4:45 p.m. at Grand View University Library.  The library is located at 1350 Morton Avenue in Des Moines. The event is free and open to the public. 
Gilbertson’s book, From a Distance, Dancing, which has just been published by Finishing Line Press, will be available for purchase and for author signing at the reading. Gilbertson will also meet with Grand View University creative writing classes throughout the day. 
From a Distance, Dancing was a finalist in the press’s Open Chapbook Competition. Gilbertson is an award-winning poet, with poems published in a variety of national journals. Her poem “Hercules” won the Flyway Sweet Corn prize for poetry, and “On the Train from Krakow” was the runner-up in the MacGuffin National Poet Hunt. Gilbertson is co-editor of the book Translucence: Religion, the Arts, and Imagination.  Her essay in that collection, “The Translucent Word: Nurturing the Religious Imagination through Classroom Literature,” won the national Donald Murray Prize for best creative essay on teaching. She has collaborated with various composers, writing hymn texts and libretti, including a song-cycle entitled “Bird Songs” with composer Philip Wharton, which premiered in concert in April 2009. 
 
Gilbertson’s poems focus on carefully observed daily experiences that resonate in our bodies and souls as well as our minds. Nationally acclaimed poet Andrew Hudgins says that Gilbertson’s poems demonstrate “a tough-minded compassion that is all the more compassionate—more heartbreaking, more enthralling—for the thought behind it.” The poems are “smart, witty, honest, and passionately intelligent,” according to Robert Cording, a celebrated poet. Joyce Sutphen, a Minnesota Book Award winner and the current Minnesota Poet Laureate, calls Gilbertson’s poem “Night Rising” “the most perfect description of rural life I have ever read: Wordsworth or Frost couldn’t have written this; only someone who has seen those farmyards at twilight would know what to say.”
 
Carol Gilbertson is Emerita Professor of English and founding director of the Lutheran Festival of Writing at Luther College, where she recently retired from teaching literature and writing for 43 years. She has been department head in English and co-director of Luther College’s study center in Nottingham, England. In 2002-04 she held the Dennis M. Jones Distinguished Teaching Professorship in the Humanities at Luther, planning and directing the Luther Poetry Project, which was designed to bring the relevance, resonance, and beauty of poems into campus life. A native of Brookings and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she holds the BA from Augustana College (SD), the MA from the University of North Carolina, and the Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and is the recipient of awards from National Endowment for the Humanities. She has taught study abroad courses in England, South Africa, and Greece.
 
The cover for Gilbertson’s book features an image of “Anhinga Platter” by Decorah (IA) potter Elisabeth Maurland. The author photo is by Decorah (IA) artists Parker Deen and Randi Spencer Berg. 
 
Finishing Line Press is a poetry publisher based in Georgetown, Kentucky. In addition to the Chapbook Series, it publishes the New Women’s Voices Series and sponsors the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition.

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