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September 05, 2008
Vol. 50 No. 1

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Faculty author gives reading of new book

Gary Fincke, professor of English and director of the Writers Institute, will give a reading from his newest book of poetry, "The Fire Landscape," on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Isaacs Auditorium in Seibert Hall.

"The Fire Landscape," Fincke's 10th full-length collection of poetry, is a series of poem sequences chronicling a wide variety of coming-of-age moments from childhood in the 1950s through the beginning of the 21st century.

His narrative poems are connected by close personal observation of place and time, but also by the politics of the Cold War and its aftermath, including a sequence driven by the 1970 shooting of students by the National Guard at Kent State University in Ohio, where Fincke was a student at the time, according to the University of Arkansas's press Web site.

Michael Waters, a well-known poet, said, "The Fire Landscape" is an "eloquent addition to a masterful body of work by one of our best multi-genre writers."

Fincke, who was recently named Charles B. Degenstein Professor of English and Creative Writing, has been the recipient of many awards, including the 2003 Flannery O'Connor Prize for Short Fiction, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry Magazine and the Rose Lefcowitz Prize from Poet Lore.

"This is probably my most personal collection, so many of the poems feel emotionally close," Fincke said.

"It's always a pleasure to read from a new book," Fincke said. "Having a large crowd of our writing students in the audience makes it an exciting opportunity to give them a sense of what I do as a writer."

"Dr. Fincke is a writer of astonishing capability," said Shane Lake, a senior creative writing major. "To be so accomplished in three genres is something few people can claim."

"I feel truly privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from and work so closely with such a talented writer," Lake added.

Books by Fincke will be available for purchase and signing following the reading. There will also be an opportunity for questions and answers.

For more information about programs sponsored by the Writers Institute and future events, visit


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