Poet Sholl is featured writer for Coffee Night at UVa-Wise

Betsy ShollBetsy Sholl, former poet laureate of Maine, is the featured writer at Coffee Night, a reading and performing event dedicated to the poetry and prose of The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and its community.

Coffee Night is set for Tuesday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel of All Faiths. Sholl will also present a public lecture entitled “I, Me, My / Hesitation in Poetry,” on Wednesday, April 11, at 1 p.m. in the Chapel, sponsored by the Department of Language and Literature and the College Lecture Committee. The public is invited to both events.

The Department of Language and Literature, the Department of Communication Studies and the Jimson Weed literary journal sponsor Coffee Night.

The spring edition of Jimson Weed will be released during Coffee Night. Coffee Night also features "Spring Highland Voices: Writers and Performers of the College and Community.” All contributors to the 2012 spring edition of the Jimson Weed are welcome to present and the program will be forthcoming. Others in the region who are interested in participating or performing at Coffee Night may contact Collin Skeen, Jimson Weed managing editor, at cas9hx@uvawise.edu by April 5. A book signing will follow both events. Some of Sholl’s works are available in the UVa-Wise bookstore.

Sholl, who taught at UVa-Wise for one semester, is the author of seven collections of poetry, including “Rough Cradle,” “Late Psalm,” “Don't Explain,” “The Red Line,” “Rooms Overhead,” “Appalachian Winter,” and “Changing Faces,” She also contributed poems to numerous journals and magazines including Orion Magazine, Triquarterly, the Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares and to two anthologies: “Letters to America: Contemporary American Poetry on Race,” and “The Maine Poets: An Anthology of Verse.” Recent poems have appeared in Cerise, Image, Field, Best American Poetry 2009, and Brilliant Corners. Her Appalachian reflections are collected in “Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers” and “Her Words: Diverse Voices in Contemporary Appalachian Women’s poetry.”

Her new poem will appear in The Best Spiritual Writing of 2012. In addition to the Felix Pollak Prize, her awards include the AWP Prize for Poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and two Maine Artists Grants.

Always finding poetry in the most unlikely places and promoting poetry as a vehicle for personal and public education, Sholl is known as the people’s poet in Maine. Her social awareness through poetry began as early as her years spent in Appalachia—not only writing poems that surprise, but also teaching poetry at a correctional facility in Coeburn.

Sholl has been a visiting poet at the University of Pittsburgh and at Bucknell University. She teaches at the University of Southern Maine and the Vermont College of Fine Arts (formerly Vermont College) MFA Program. She has a BA in English from Bucknell University, an MA from the University of Rochester, and an MFA from Vermont College. She lives with her husband, Dr. Douglas Sholl, in Portland, Maine. Before moving there in 1983, the Sholls lived in Boston, then in Big Stone Gap, Va. for seven years.

For more information, contact College Relations at (276) 376-1027.