Visiting distinguished writer to give reading April 11

10:47:26 AM CDT - Thursday, March 27, 2003

For four weeks, poet Ed Ochester will tutor poets at Wichita State as visiting distinguished writer March 24-April 18. For one evening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, in 107 Devlin Hall he'll share his works with the public as he gives a free reading.

Ochester will teach poetry writing to graduate and advanced undergraduate students in WSU's English department. Teaching poetry writing is a familiar role for Ochester, who retired in 1999 from the University of Pittsburgh after nearly 20 years of heading one of the largest writing programs of its kind in the country. He continues to teach at the Bennington MFA Writing Seminars in Vermont.

He's written six books of poetry and two chapbooks: "Dancing on the Edges of Knives" (1973), which won the Devins Award for Poetry; "The End of the Ice Age" (1977), a finalist for the Elliston Award for best book of poetry from a small press; "Miracle Mile" (1984); "Changing the Name to Ochester" (1988); "Allegheny" (1995); "Cooking in Key West" (1995); "Snow White Horses: Selected Poems" (2000); and "The Land of Cockaigne" (2001), which won the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry and was nominated for a National Book Award.

He has also edited the anthology "The Pittsburgh Book of Contemporary American Poetry" (1993) and is under contract to do another, "The Living Poem: American Poetry."

Since 1978, Ochester has served as editor of the Pitt Poetry Series and since 1980 as general editor for the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for short fiction. He also is co-editor of 5 AM, a magazine of contemporary poetry.

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