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Poet to give reading of original work

September 27, 2011

Poet, memoirist and essayist Jim Minick will give a reading of his poetry at 5 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Richwine Room of Hoover Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Minick returns to campus after some 20 years and award-winning writing success at the invitation of his former teacher, English professor Kathy Mangan, who is a published poet herself. Minick was enrolled in Mangan’s graduate writing class while teaching high school English in Frederick County, and the two have kept in touch periodically ever since.

This semester, it all came together. Mangan’s colleagues, Suzanne Nida and Walt Michael, are teaching a Sophomore Interdisciplinary Studies class about Appalachia in which one of the books is Minick’s “Finding a Clear Path,” which brings together literature, agriculture and ecology to explore the Appalachian region in essays. The SIS class coupled with Mangan’s honors poetry class and graduate writing class sparked the invitation and ultimately the Oct. 4 reading for not only McDaniel students but the public as well.

Minick, who teaches writing and literature at Radford University in Virginia, is the author of “The Blueberry Years, A Memoir of Farm and Family,” and winner of the SIBA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award. He has also written a collection of essays, “Finding a Clear Path,” and two books of poetry, “Her Secret Song” and “Burning Heaven.” In 2008, the Virginia College Bookstore Association awarded “Burning Heaven” the Jefferson Cup for best book of the year. Recently, his poem “I Dream a Bean” was picked by Claudia Emerson for permanent display at the new Tysons Corner/Metrorail Station. Minick has won grants, awards, and honors from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association, Southern Environmental Law Center, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Virginia Commission for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Appalachian Writers Association, Appalachian Heritage, Now and Then Magazine, and Radford University.