Alumnae Gibbins, Koesters and Menting present “Poetry in Print”
On Thursday, October 5 at 11 a.m. in Bailey Library, poets and creative writing alumnae Crystal S. Gibbins, Adrian Koesters, and Michelle Menting will return to Andrews Hall to read from their work and speak on the process of bringing poetry to publication. They have diverse insights to offer, from navigating the typical poetry-press contract to working with editors, from selecting cover art to marketing and promoting their new books. All three have new books out this year: Gibbins’ Now/Here, Koesters’ Three Days with the Long Moon, and Menting’s Leaves Surface Like Skin.
Crystal S. Gibbins grew up on the islands of Lake of the Woods, Minnesota/Ontario. She is the author of the full-length poetry collection Now/Here (Holy Cow! Press 2017) and two poetry chapbooks. She holds a Ph.D. in English with concentrations in Creative Writing, 20th and 21st Century American Poetry, and Environmental Literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has taught creative writing, literature, and composition for nearly 15 years at various universities and colleges in the Midwest, suchas Minnesota State University Moorhead, Winona State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Now/Here, released April 24, 2017, blends history, naturalist observations, and experiences about living on both sides of the 49th parallel—the international border that separates Canada and U.S. Her poetry also focuses on the diversity, struggle, and power of nature, examining the tensions and oppositions that exist within climate, time, and change. Like the lake waters of the northern wilderness, the power of these poems lies beneath the surface.
Adrian Koesters is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. She attended high school in Bellingham, Washington, and has lived most of her life in Nebraska, where she has worked in Omaha and Lincoln as a high school teacher, secretary, sign language interpreter, academic advisor, editorial specialist, and university professor. She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, and a Ph.D. in English (fiction and poetry writing) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she was an assistant editor in Poetry for Prairie Schooner magazine and an assistant editor for Ted Kooser’s syndicated newspaper column, American Life in Poetry. She has taught creative writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Creighton University, and currently works as a research editorial specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Greg Glazner, author of Singularity and From the Iron Chair, writes: “In Adrian Koester’s Three Days with the Long Moon, honesty and surprise arise out of fabulous linguistic richness. Friction between apparent opposites generates heat: religion and eros, relationships and their absence, the natural and the human. And throughout the collection, nuanced syntax, rich associations, and gorgeous sounds abound.”
Michelle Menting was born and raised in the Upper Great Lakes, the youngest of 12 siblings. She earned her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.F.A from Northern Michigan University, and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. She is the author of three chapbooks: Leaves Surface Like Skin (2017), Residence Time (2016) and Myth of Solitude (2013). In 2015, she was the Hill House Artist-in-Residence at the Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology. She also received a Donald Justice Poetry Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Menting is currently visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Franklin Pierce University and editor of the Northern New England Review.
Of Leaves Surface Like Skin, Sandra Beasley writes: “Michelle Menting articulates gorgeous, strange visions of nature inflected by human interference. A forest is interrupted by a graveyard of Bob’s Big Boy statuettes; ruling cockroaches populate a nuclear fall-out film; lichen becomes litter; a horse and farrier practice their choreography, as he ‘let[s] her lean on him, her hips cocked, almost delicate.’ These poems teem with litany, landscape, literal and figurative image; an awareness of mortality hovers, not so much afterlife as underlife. Menting has a gift for moody and luminous phrasing: ‘For some, the world is wood tick wicked.’ There’s magic to a collection that does such heavy lifting with a light touch.”