Great River Reading Series

The John S. Lucas Great River Reading Series brings poets, fiction writers and non-fiction writers to WSU each year. The writers visit creative writing and literature classes, meet with students, and give a public reading.

Visiting writers have included: Lee Young-Li, Diana Abu-Jaber, Achy Obejas, Heid Erdrich, Katrina Vandenberg, John Reimringer, Marisha Chamberlain, Beth Ann Fennelly, Reginald Gibbons, Kent Meyer, Gary Young, Barry Estabrook, Ruth Ozeki, Kim Roberts, Kenneth McCullough, C. Mikal Oness, Joyce Sutphen, Tony Eprile, C.J. Hallman, Susan Atefat-Peckham, Ed Bok Lee and Joe Meno.

Upcoming Events

Betsy Wheeler
Tuesday, April 12th, 7pm - Stark 103

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Winona State’s Jack Lucas Great River Reading Series will feature poet Betsy Wheeler reading from her book Loud Dreaming in a Quiet Room on Tuesday, April 12 at 7pm in Stark 103 Auditorium.

Originally from the Upper Mississippi River Valley, Betsy Wheeler studied poetry and the art of the book at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she was a Maple House Fellow for Sutton Hoo Press. After a brief stint working in the publishing industry in Minnesota’s Twin Cities (as an Intern at Graywolf Press, and as Events Coordinator at Consortium), she went on to receive her MFA in poetry from The Ohio State University. From 2005-2007 she held the Stadler Fellowship at Bucknell University. She now works as Managing Director for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at UMass, Amherst and is editor and publisher of Pilot Books--a publisher of limited edition poetry chapbooks. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Critics have praised the poems in Loud Dreaming in a Quiet Room (The National Poetry Review Press, 2011) for their intensity, richness, and humor: “These poems, through their gorgeous, often strange, yet always accessible language, bring us into the necessary struggle - familiar, worrisome, ludicrous, sublime, essential - to wake to live in a more authentic, imaginative, freer realm,” wrote Matthew Zapruder. Dara Wier calls it “a book conditioned to be open, welcoming, kind and true, a collection carefully shaped, carefully said. These poems say poetry-you don't want to spare poetry, you want to keep a place prepared for it, to entice it to come along, anytime. “