North Texas Daily

Award-winning poet to read from works

Award-winning poet to read from works

October 22
22:34 2012

H. Drew Blackburn / Staff Writer

Award-winning poet Kevin Prufer will participate in a Q&A session today at 4 p.m. in room 315 of the Language Building, with a reading to follow in the Golden Eagle Suite of the Union at 8 p.m.

Prufer is an English professor in the creative writing program at the University of Houston and the editor at large of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing.

Kevin Prufer

His most recent book of poetry, “In A Beautiful Country,” was a finalist for the UNT Rilke Prize, named after German poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

English professor Corey Marks, director of creative writing, said that Prufer was chosen because he was a finalist for the Rilke Prize.

The winner of the award receives $10,000 for a book of poetry written by a mid-career poet that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision.

All of the finalists for the Rilke Prize will have readings this year, Marks said.

“Last year was the first year for the prize,” creative writing administrative assistant Lisa Vining said. “All of the finalists will be coming to UNT.”

UNT’s Visiting Writer Series brings nationally and internationally renowned writers to the UNT campus for public readings.

The purpose of the Visiting Writers Series is to give students, especially English students, the opportunity to see writers in their field.

Vining said that professors pick the writers according to their respective genre.

“The faculty usually has a list of people they want to bring out,” Vining said.

The last poetry reading at UNT, from poet Laura Kasischke, winner of the first Rilke Prize, had about 200 people in attendance, Marks said.

English senior Charles Alexander Themar said that the readings are important because it is beneficial to hear a writer’s works out loud.

“‘[In A Beautiful Country]’ is very modern, sad, but relevant to a lot of the things we feel today,” Themar said. “It is evocative.”

Prufer is the author of five books. His work has been published in literary journals including  the Paris Review, the New Republic and the Kenyon Review.

For more information on Kevin Prufer visit

For more information about  UNT’s Visiting Writer Series visit

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