Sofia Starnes, an award-winning poet and former Poet Laureate of Virginia, is the featured speaker for Fall 2018 Coffee Night at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. The event is set for Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Slemp Student Center’s Rhododendron Room.

Coffee Night, sponsored by the Jimson Weed literary journal and the departments of Language an Literature and Communication Studies, is a reading and performance event dedicated to the poetry and prose of campus and community writers.

The Fall 2018 edition of the Jimson Weed will premier at Coffee Night. All contributors to the new edition of the Jimson Weed are invited to present. A full program will be forthcoming. Anyone interested in participating in reading or performing along with the featured writers or artists may contact Heaven Parridgen, Jimson Weed managing editor ( or, by Wednesday, Nov. 7.

In addition to Coffee Night, Starnes will give a talk on “Making Whole: The Nature of Poetry,” on Wednesday, November 14, 1:00-2:00 p.m., in the Rhododendron Room of the Slemp Student Center.

Sponsored by the College Lecture Committee and the Department of Language and Literature, her talk will address the healing power of poetry and pose such questions as how healing occurs in poetry, how the poet finds healing through the act of writing a poem, and how the healing extends itself to the reader.

About Sofia Starnes

Poetry Editor of The Anglican Theological Review and Critique Editor of Creative Writing Critiques, has authored six books of poetry: The Soul’s Landscape (Aldrich Poetry Prize, 2002); A Commerce of Moments (Pavement Saw Press, Editor’s Prize, 2003; rpt. 2012; Honor Book in the 2004 Virginia Literary Awards Competition); Corpus Homini: A Poem for Single Flesh (Whitebird Poetry Series Prize, Wings Press, 2008); Fully Into Ashes (Wings Press, 2011), Love and the Afterlife (Franciscan University, 2012), and the latest, The Consequence of Moonlight (Paraclete Press, 2018). She is also the editor of The Nearest Poem Anthology, published during her tenure as Virginia Poet Laureate (2012-2014) and Four Virginia Poets Laureate 2004-2012. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Poetry Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Rainer Maria Rilke Poetry Prize, the Marlboro Review Editor’s Prize, a Conference on Christianity and Literature Poetry Prize, the Superior Achievement Award in Poetry by the Virginia Writer’s Club, and a Pushcart nomination (Green Hills Literary Lantern), among other recognitions. In 2008, her work was selected for the Best of the Decade Issue by Hawai’i Pacific Review, and in 2009, she was named Distinguished Scholar by Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky. Starnes’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including the Notre Dame Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Southern Poetry Review, Laurel Review, Blackbird, and Hayden’s Ferry. She is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who of American Women.

Starnes, first featured at the college in the spring of 2013, earned a Licenciatura (Master’s) in English Philology from the University of Madrid. She offers writing tutorials and comprehensive editing services to writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, through Creative Writing Critiques. She lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, with her husband Dr. Bill Starnes, an internationally acclaimed chemist and the Gottwald Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at The College of William and Mary. A native of Lee Country, Dr. Starnes is also a member of the Southwest Virginia Walk of Fame.

Starnes’ new book of poems The Consequence of Moonlight is available at both events. A book signing will follow. UVa-Wise students will receive cultural credit for attendance. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact College Relations at 276-328-0127.