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updated: 10/28/2013 12:16 PM

Authors to Visit College of DuPage at Free Writers Read Nov. 12

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COD News Bureau

Acclaimed authors Liz Whiteacre (left) and Rachel McKibbens will read and discuss their work at College of DuPage on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Services Center (SSC), Room 3245, on the College's main campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., in Glen Ellyn.

This free event, co-sponsored by the Creative Writing committee, the Liberal Arts department and the Women's Studies Committee at College of DuPage, is part of the "Writers Read" series, which brings authors to COD's campus for readings and discussions.

"We are very pleased to host this free series for our students, staff and community members," said COD English Professor Jackie McGrath. "Writers Read provides our audience with a chance to interact with some of the best writers from around the country. They leave this program with a sense of understanding about the author's writing process and the thinking behind their subject matter. It's a very refreshing format."

Rachel McKibbens is a New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow and author of two full-length books of poetry: Into the Dark & Emptying Field and Pink Elephant. For four years, McKibbens taught poetry through the Healing Arts program at Bellevue hospital in Manhattan and continues to teach poetry and creative writing and give lectures across the country as an advocate for mental illness, gender equality and victims of violence and domestic abuse.

A nine-time National Poetry Slam team member, McKibbens has appeared on eight NPS final stages, coached the New York louderARTS poetry slam team to three consecutive final stage appearances, is the 2009 Women of the World Poetry Slam champion and the 2011 National Underground Poetry Slam individual champion.

In 2011, McKibbens was commissioned by The Getty Center in Los Angeles to write and perform an ekphrastic poem for their multi-media poetry event Dark Blushing. She was also featured in the poetry slam documentary Slam Planet in 2006 at SXSW and appeared on two seasons of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam.

Her poems, short stories, essays and creative non-fiction have been featured in numerous journals and blogs, including Her Kind, The Los Angeles Review,

The Best American Poetry Blog, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, The London Magazine, The Acentos Review, World Literature Today, Radius and The American Poetry Journal.

McKibbens resides with her family in upstate New York where she teaches poetry and co-curates the monthly reading series Poetry & Pie Night. She is currently working on a memoir about growing up as a child misogynist.

Liz Whiteacre is the author of Hit the Ground, a collection of poems that tells the story of her experiences with spinal injury and how her life changed. She is also co-editor of the anthology Monday Coffee & Other Stories of Mothering Children with Special Needs. Whiteacre's poems have appeared in publications such as Wordgathering, Disability Studies Quarterly and The Healing Muse.

Formerly an associate English professor at College of DuPage, Whiteacre received the Vesle Fenstermaker Poetry Prize for emerging poets from Indiana University in 2008 and received the Inglis House Poetry Award in 2010. She currently teaches creative writing at Ball State University.

For the last 15 years the Writers Read series has brought dozens of nationally acclaimed writers to College of DuPage, including Stuart Dybek, Luis Urrea, Scott Russell Sanders and Joy Harjo.

According to English professor Tom Montgomery Fate, many College of DuPage faculty members teach the work of these visiting writers, often inspiring a deeper appreciation of the authors, their process and resulting work.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the Writers Read series, visit or call Jackie McGrath at (630) 942-2709.