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Author Reading

"A Lifetime of Song"

Poetry Reading with American poet and essayist Rita Dove

Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 6 p.m., Building 105, C

This poetry reading war co-organized by Giulia Sperduti, MA, Department of Linguistics, University of Cologne and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Judith Rauscher, American Literature and Culture University of Cologne.

Among other notable awards, the American poet and essayist Rita Dove received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995, andas Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. Since 1989, she has been teaching at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she held the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English from 1993 to 2020; as of 2020 she holds the chair of Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing.

Her works include: the poetry collections Playlist for the Apocalypse (New York: W. W. Norton, 2021), Collected Poems 1974-2004 (New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2016), Sonata Mulattica (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009), American Smooth (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), On the Bus with Rosa Parks (New York: Norton, 1999), Mother Love (New York: W. W. Norton, 1995), Selected Poems (Pantheon/Vintage, 1993), Grace Notes (New York: W. W. Norton, 1989), Thomas and Beulah (Carnegie Mellon Press, 1986), Museum (Carnegie Mellon, 1983), The Yellow House on the Corner (Carnegie Mellon Press, 1980); the essay collection The Poet's World (Washington, DC: The Library of Congress, 1995); the drama The Darker Face of the Earth: A Verse Play in Fourteen Scenes (Story Line Press, 1994); the novel Through the Ivory Gate (Pantheon Books, 1992); and the short story collection Fifth Sunday (University of Kentucky, Callaloo Fiction Series, 1985). [from]



Author Reading

"The Rhythm of Memory and Myth"

Author Reading by Deborah D.E.E.P Mouton 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 10 a.m., Building 103, S82

This lecture was organized as part of the seminar "Introduction to 21st Century American Poetry," taught by  Dr. Mahshid Mayar.

"What is a memory, but a lie that has rattled in you for so long that you call it a truth?" Internationally-known poet, playwright, and performer, Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, joins us to discuss how she bends memory to myth in her most recent memoir, /Black Chameleon/. Blending a poet's lyricism with a playwright's storytelling, Mouton's works examine the American experience, often through social commentary, historical grounding, and eloquent language. This session is a chance to peek behind the creative curtain and discover how hybrid writing can reinvent the poetic form. 

Deborah D.E.E.P Mouton is an internationally-known writer, director, performer, critic, and Poet Laureate Emeritus of Houston, TX. She is author of the Newsworthy (Bloomsday Literary, 2019), its German counterpart Berichtenswert (Elif Verlag, 2021), and the recently released memoir Black Chameleon (Henry Holt & Co, 2023). She has been a contributing writer for Glamour, Texas Monthly, and ESPN's Andscape. Her most notable productions include Marian's Song (Houston Grand Opera, 2020) & Plumshuga: The Rise of Lauren Anderson, (Stages, 2022).

She is a Resident Artist with American Lyric Theater, Rice University, and the Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC).



Author Reading

Borrowing Your Body: Poetry Reading by Laura Passin


Author Reading by Laura Passin 

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, 6 - 7 p.m. (via Zoom)    

This poetry reading was co-organized by JProf. Dr. Judith Rauscher (U of Cologne) and Mareike Spychala (U of Bamberg) and co-funded by the American Studies section of the University of Bamberg.

During this poetry reading, American poet and feminist at large, Laura Passin, read poems from her recent book of poetry on grief and illness entitled Borrowing Your Body (2021) as well as selected unpublished works focusing on what it means to live in a world in crisis.

Laura Passin earned a PhD in English from Northwestern University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon. She has written about literature and culture for major feminist blogs and her poetry has appeared in a variety of publications, including Prairie SchoonerAdrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer WomenThe ToastRolling Stone, and Best New Poets 2013. She is the author of the chapbook All Sex and No Story (2019) and the poetry collection Borrowing Your Body (2021).


Author Reading

"Fairy Tales for Robots"

Author Reading by Sofia Samatar (James Madison U, USA)

Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, 6 p.m., (via Zoom)

This event was co-organized as part of the GfF Conference 2021 "Speculative Fiction and Ethics" by JProf. Dr. Judith Rauscher (U of Cologne), Mareike Spychala (U of Bamberg), Sara Tewelde-Negassi (U of Cologne) and Lorena Bickert (U of Bamberg). It was financially supported by Amerikahaus NRW e.V.

Sofia Samatar is the author of the novels A Stranger in Olondria and The Winged Historiesthe short story collection, Tender, and Monster Portraitsa collaboration with her brother, the artist Del Samatar. Her work has won several awards, including the World Fantasy Award. She is a long-standing member of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) and she teaches African literature, Arabic literature, and speculative fiction at James Madison University. During this event, she will read from her story "Fairy Tales for Robots" and discuss questions of ethics in Fantasy and Science Fiction, focusing on the way old stories can illuminate current concerns. What do the magical beings and animated dolls of fairy tales share with robots? How might fairytale depictions of nonhumans comment on artificial intelligence? Where do the oldest stories gesture toward issues that haunt technological societies, such as racialized and gender-based violence, economic injustice, and environmental degradation? And what explains the powerful attraction in tales of the non-quite-human, both in the past and today?