ITTA BENA, Miss.— The Mississippi Valley State University Department of English and Foreign Languages and J.H. White Library will continue the Zelma T. Howard Lecture Series with a poetry reading featuring renowned poet George Drew.
The event will be hosted at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in the Bendenfield Electronic classroom, located on the second floor of the library. The event is free and open to the public.
With a background in Itta Bena, Drew is a contemporary poet whose writing has been featured in magazines and journals nationwide.
“George Drew is a remarkable poet. His poems reflect his Mississippi upbringing. ‘Valley Voices’ was pleased to publish his poems in its past issues,” said Dr. John Zheng, chair of MVSU’s English department.
According to Zheng, the event will offer attendees the opportunity to hear the poet read and reflect on his own words.
“Poetry brings us a different experience of human life and mind, a different aesthetic experience that humanizes us, uplifts us, and enhances the quality of our human life,” Zheng said. “This event will be a great opportunity for our students and faculty to have a face-to-face experience with a poet who has the ability to present human life in a vivid, storytelling language or one of a kind southern-style poetic food.”
Drew was born in Mississippi and raised there and in New York State, where he currently lives.
He is the author of eight collections, most recently “Fancy's Orphan”, published in 2017 by Tiger Bark Press. Other books include “Pastoral Habits: New & Selected Poems” in 2016, “Down & Dirty” in 2015 and “The View from Jackass Hill”, winner of the 2010 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize.
Drew has won several awards, most recently the 2016 Knightville Poetry Contest (The New Guard). In 2010 his collection, “American Cool”, won that year's Adirondack Literary Award for best poetry book of 2009; “Pastoral Habits” won the same award in 2017.
The Zelma T. Howard Lecture Series is named in honor of long-time MVSU English Professor Dr. Zelma T. Howard of Indianola, MS. Howard dedicated 41 years to MVSU, during which she served as chair of the English Department for 11 years.
For more information, contact Zheng at (662) 254-3451 or MVSU Library Director Mantra Henderson at (662) 254-3495.