Bothe Poetry Reading celebrates College’s 150th with alumnae poets
The 32nd annual Bothe Poetry Reading commemorates the College’s 150th anniversary with readings by two McDaniel alumnae poets, Melissa Atkinson Mercer and Karen Meadows on March 27 at 7:30 p.m. in McDaniel Lounge. The reading is free and open to the public.
“We are delighted to welcome back to campus two alumnae who are published poets,” says English professor Kathy Mangan, the Joan Develin Coley Chair in Creative Expression and the Arts at McDaniel. “I had the pleasure of teaching both Melisa Atkinson Mercer and Karen Meadows during their respective McDaniel years, and it’s gratifying to see two former creative writing students go on to establish themselves as poets.
“Bringing them back to the Hill as the 2018 Bothe poets during the College’s sesquicentennial year seemed a splendid way to celebrate McDaniel’s 150th anniversary.”
A 2010 alumna of McDaniel, Melissa Atkinson Mercer of Elizabethton, Tenn., graduated with a double major in English and Sociology. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2013 from West Virginia University, where she won the Russell MacDonald Creative Writing Award in Poetry.
Her latest full-length book, “Knock,” released March 1, focuses on mental health and depression. She is also the author of “Saint of the Partial Apology” and five chapbooks. She currently works and teaches at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C.
Karen Meadows graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from McDaniel in 1999 and earned a master’s degree in English and creative writing from Hollins University. Her first published collection of poems, “almond, eyeless,” is due out March 16 and, according to Meadows, “confronts how the self is compromised by society, relationships or even brief, impersonal interactions, yet maintains the persistent, often desperate need to be understood by another.”
She has six poems in the current issue of “Subtropics” and her work has also appeared in “Blackbird” and “The Hollins Critic.” In addition to her poetry, she has worked in marketing, content strategy and business management for several startups and small companies throughout the East Coast. She currently resides outside Philadelphia in Phoenixville, Pa.
The annual B. Christopher Bothe Memorial Lecture brings a distinguished visiting writer to McDaniel’s campus for one day to meet with student writers and to give a public reading and lecture. B. Christopher Bothe, a member of the class of 1972, was a poet, award-winning journalist, and printer who died in 1984. Bothe’s family and friends developed the lecture in his memory in 1987.