Tag Archives: Reading

Writer’s Harvest Reading: Sasha Steensen and Ira Sukrungruang


~From English Department Communications Intern Tim Mahoney

The Creative Writing Reading Series invited authors Sasha Steensen and Ira Sukrungruang to read selections of their latest work at the Writers’ Harvest Benefit on October 23rd. For this event attendants were asked to bring in canned non-perishable food items to donate to the Larimer County Food Bank. Those who donated food items were given the chance to win great prizes from local business who also donated their goods and services to benefit the local food bank. On top of some incredible prizes including gift baskets from Whole Foods Market and Snooze, the Writers’ Harvest Benefit gave students and members of the community the chance to hear some truly amazing works of literature.

The reading, which took place in the University Center for the Arts Museum, began with CSU’s own Sasha Steensen who read selections from her latest chapbook House of Deer. The poems from this collection were about family, her childhood, and where she grew up. The book has been described as “a lyric inquiry into a personal history of the back-to-the-land idealism of the 1970s, with its promises and failings, naturalism gone awry, and journeys into the worlds of addiction, recovery, and, ultimately, family.” All of the poems Steensen read were from her new work — all except for the last, a new poem she’d been working on that very day. Her language and close attention to detail demonstrate her skill as a poet and her mastery of the craft.


Ira Sukrungruang took the podium next, and read some of his latest nonfiction essays. Sukrungruang is the author of numerous collections of nonfiction, including his memoir Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy. Like Steensen, Sukrungruang demonstrated his skills in crafting nonfiction pieces that are both wildly entertaining and thought provoking. Each essay he read offered his audience a glimpse into his personal history growing up Buddhist in Chicago, but his careful and thoughtful writing made his experiences widely relatable.


As a writer I find these readings are wonderful opportunities to hear exceptional authors read their work, which often helps me in my own writing. Seeing how successful writers craft their poems and essays is a learning experience that every writer at CSU should take advantage of. CSU’s Creative Writing Reading Series will continue to bring authors to campus and I encourage anyone interested in hearing great poetry and prose to attend. Hopefully writers will take from these readings a new piece of knowledge that will help make their writing more insightful, impactful, and beautiful.

Next reading in the Creative Writing Reading Series: Dinty Moore, University Center for the Arts, Museum, Thursday November 13th at 7:30 p.m.

Sponsors of the Reading Series include the English Department and Creative Writing Program at Colorado State University, Organization of Graduate Student Writers through ASCSU, Mike Liggett, Tae Nosaka, and the Poudre River Library District.

All events are free and open to the public. For additional information e-mail andrewnmangan@gmail.com. For a full listing of 2014-2015 Creative Writing Reading series events, please visit: http://english.colostate.edu/docs/reading-series-poster.pdf

Dinty Moore Reading


image credit: Dinty Moore

From EJ Levy: “The Creative Writing Reading Series is thrilled to present award-winning author and editor Dinty Moore reading from his recent work NEXT WEEK, on THURSDAY, Nov. 13, 2014, at 7:30PM at the UCA Museum, 1400 Remington Street. A Q&A and book signing will follow the reading.

Dinty Moore’s memoir Between Panic & Desire was winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. His other books include The Accidental Buddhist, Toothpick Men, The Emperor’s Virtual Clothes, and the writing guide, The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction.

Moore has published essays and stories in Southern Review, Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader, and Crazyhorse, among numerous other venues.

A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore has won many awards for his writing, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. He is the editor of Brevity, an on-line journal of creative nonfiction, and is on the editorial board of Creative Nonfiction magazine.

This event is free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!

News of Note Week of October 27th

Ingersoll Hall in Fall, image by Jill Salahub

Blue sky over Ingersoll Hall in Fall, image by Jill Salahub

  • Gerry Delahunty presented his paper on “Lexical semantics: How much English teachers need to know?” at the 7th International Conference on English Language Teaching (ELT) in China, in Nanjing, China.
  • Lisa Langstraat and Sue Doe are delighted to announce that their book-length collection, Generation Vet: Student-Veterans, Composition, and the Post-9/11 University, has been released by Utah State Press and the University Press of Colorado.  Sue and Lisa celebrated by giving a presentation at CSU’s first-ever national veteran symposium on Thursday, October 30. Their presentation focused on “Pathologization and Sanitization: Two Problematic Extremes of University Relationships with Military and Veteran Populations” which is based on their ongoing longitudinal study of over two dozen student-veterans and their transitional literacies.
  • Jonathan Starke (MFA Fiction/Nonfiction 2011) has essays in the current issues of North American Review and River Teeth and an essay in the annual Baltimore Review print issue. He also has a short story in the summer issue of Shenandoah. He’s spending the winter vagabonding through France, Croatia, Germany, and anywhere one can find authentic handmade soaps and local beers.
  • Upcoming 4×4 Reading, November 4th – Reading will be Hannah Kezema from Naropa University, Aditi Machado from Denver University, Caroline Rothnie from CU–Boulder, and CSU’s own Melissa Hohl. University Center for the Arts , 7:30pm.
  • Greyrock Review is now accepting submissions! Greyrock Review is an undergraduate anthology at Colorado State University. Submissions are open from October 6, 2014 to December 1, 2014 for original work in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual arts. Any undergraduate at CSU may submit their work at https://greyrockreview.submittable.com/submit for free and will be notified by December 15, 2014. Any questions may be sent to editor.csu@gmail.com

Gary Snyder Reading

image by Tim Mahoney

Gary Snyder reading, image by Tim Mahoney

Poet Gary Snyder read on September 17, 2014 at the University Art Center. This event was attended by English Department Communications intern Tim Mahoney, who had this to share:

Last week, CSU’s English Department invited renowned author, Gary Snyder, to campus for a reading of his latest work. While I was annoyed that I had missed the turn for the University Center for the Arts, instinctively heading towards the library (where I spend many of my nights), I was excited that this visit was not strictly for business.

I’ve always enjoyed attending the readings sponsored by the English Department. Our reading series draws many talented authors to campus to share their fiction, non-fiction, or poetry with students, faculty, and the Fort Collins community. This semester, we were lucky enough to have Gary Snyder come and read from his new volume of poetry, beautifully entitled, This Present Moment. Before he began his reading, we were told that the event was to be moved to a larger auditorium to accommodate the large number of people in attendance. There was a slight delay as the ushers clambered to set up the new venue, and move the audience row by row to the new location, but the move was quick and seamless. Although I heard a few groans from some of the patrons, as they gathered their things and prepared to move down the hall, it was amazing to see so many people come out and show their support for the English Department’s reading series. Soon after everyone was settled, Snyder was welcomed to an uproarious applause and the reading was underway.

Gary Snyder reading, image by Tim Mahoney

Gary Snyder reading, image by Tim Mahoney

Snyder, who was immortalized in Jack Kerouac’s novel The Dharma Bums, and who participated in the historic Six Gallery Reading — which launched the Beat Generation Movement — took the stage to read selections from his latest volume including poems about his college sweetheart, his late wife, the beauty and destructive nature of forest fires, Indian marital arrangements, relaxation, and life’s many paths.

He opened with the poem dedicated to his college sweetheart, reminiscing about the time he spent with her, perfectly capturing the wonderful power of nostalgia and past love. His next poem, “Off the Trail,” dedicated to his late wife Carole, took us even deeper into that strangely wonderful feeling of remembrance. His ability to look back at his life with such clarity and grace moved me in ways that might have been missed had I only read his poems in print.

No path will get you there, we’re off the trail,
You and I, and we chose it!
~Gary Snyder, “Off the Trail”

Gary Snyder reading, image by Sarah Sloane

Gary Snyder reading, image by Sarah Sloane

Hearing poetry read has a completely different feel; the author’s voice and tone enhance the words. To fully experience a poem, I need to hear it performed. Snyder’s performance of his work was spectacular to say the least; his voice, breaths, and personality all contributed to an experience that cannot be contained on paper. I left the auditorium that night a true enthusiast of his work.

I recommend that every English major should attend these readings. It was incredible to hear Snyder’s work, and to see him perform his poetry. Sitting there with friends, classmates, and professors, as well members of the larger community, I couldn’t help but be moved by Snyder’s poetry and his passion for life, nature, and love of living in the present moment.

Gary Snyder singing books, image by Tim Mahoney

Gary Snyder singing books, image by Tim Mahoney

Next reading in the Creative Writing Reading Series: Writers’ Harvest with Ira Sukrungruang and Sasha Steensen, Poetry and Prose, University Center for the Arts, Museum, Thursday October 23rd at 7:30 p.m.

Sponsors of the Reading Series include the English Department and Creative Writing Program at Colorado State University, Organization of Graduate Student Writers through ASCSU, Mike Liggett, Tae Nosaka, and the Poudre River Library District.

All events are free and open to the public. For additional information e-mail andrewnmangan@gmail.com. For a full listing of 2014-2015 Creative Writing Reading series events, please visit: http://english.colostate.edu/docs/reading-series-poster.pdf

Gary Snyder Bio by Denise Jarrott

image by Jill Salahub

image by Jill Salahub

Gary Snyder Bio
by Denise Jarrott

The relentless complexity of the world is off to the side of the trail. For hunters and herders trails weren’t always so useful. For a forager, the path is not where you walk for long. Wild herbs, camas bulbs, quail, dye plants, are away from the path. The whole range of items that fulfill your needs is out there. We must wander through it to learn and memorize the field-rolling, crinkled, eroded, gullied, ridged (wrinkled like the brain) – holding the map in mind. ~From the essay “On the Path, Off the Trail” by Gary Snyder

Very few poets capture and engage with their landscape, both their physical and spiritual homes, like Gary Snyder. From the fog-shrouded Cascade Mountains of his home landscape of the Pacific Rim to the mysterious resonance of Japan, Snyder inhabits and converses with his world, and invites the reader to make a home in the world he both reflects and creates.

Gary Snyder is known among the Beat-generation and San Francisco Renaissance poets of the 1950s and 60s, alongside Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and other voices of their time. Those familiar with Jack Kerouac’s novel The Dharma Bums will recognize Snyder as one of the characters, according to Kerouac, an “old-fashioned saint of the desert”, but also an anarchist, a poet steeped in the natural world of his native Pacific Northwest and adopted Far East.

Born in San Francisco and raised in and around Portland and Seattle, Snyder was immersed in the natural world from a very young age. Following a severe burn accident as a child that involved a significant time in bed and unable to work on his family farm, Snyder’s mother a “very high-strung, neurotic person with literary ambitions” brought him books from the Seattle library, and from that early literary influence, Snyder continued to read and write and question the influence of white society on the local native cultures and subsequently, the natural world he had, and would, come to know.

Snyder later attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but did not venture far from his beloved wilderness. He held jobs as a logger, seaman, and fire lookout for the U.S. Forest Service. In addition to degrees in literature and anthropology, Snyder also studied linguistics at Indiana University and Oriental languages at the University of California at Berkeley. It was in Bay Area that Snyder became involved with the poets who would define Beat poetry.

Flowing from his work on the trail crew at Yosemite National Park and involvement and practice in Zen Buddhism in Japan and India, Snyder began to write the poems he would be known for. His first book, Riprap and his translation of the poems of Han Shan, or Cold Mountain, were his first notable works in poetry. He is currently the author of sixteen collections of poetry including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Turtle Island.

In addition to being an award-winning poet and translator, Snyder has also written several books nonfiction and essays such as Earth House Hold and The Old Ways. Currently, he teaches at the University of California at Davis, where he has been on faculty since 1985. He has also held positions as a visiting lecturer at several universities and facilitated several writing workshops and was the former chair of the California Arts Council.


Gary Snyder will read from his poems at the University Center for the Arts on Wednesday September 17 at 7:30 pm.



Bio Bibliography:

Aronowitz, Al, Everyday Beat, excepted from Chapter 14: The Dharma Bum http://www.everyday-beat.org/everyday/essay/snyder/ accessed online, September 8, 2014.

Gary Snyder biography: The Poetry Foundation http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/gary-snyder

Snyder, Gary, “On the Path, Off the Trail” from The Practice of the Wild North Point Press, 1990.

Weinberger, Eliot, “The Art of Poetry No. 74”, Gary Snyder interviewed by Eliot Weinberger, http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1323/the-art-of-poetry-no-74-gary-snyder

Reading and Silent Auction to Benefit CSU Alumnus Keith Jentzsch


On August 7th, CSU alum Keith Jentzsch was severely beaten by an unnamed assailant while investigating late-night fireworks in his neighborhood. He remains in intensive care, and will face a long recovery. To aid in his convalescence a number of writers and artists in the community are holding a benefit reading and silent auction Friday, September 12th, with all proceeds going to his long-term care.


Besides getting his MFA in Art, Keith was also the Programs and Exhibitions Coordinator for the University Art Museum, and the person responsible for maintaining the gallery during all of our reading events there. We cordially invite you to come out to the event and contribute to Keith’s recovery.

The reading/auction will be held at the Downtown Artery, 252 Linden Street, 6-10 p.m. Readers include Dan Beachy-Quick, Sasha Steensen, Matthew Cooperman, Aby Kaupang and Grant Souders, among others. Details for the event can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/454322678043305/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Book Signing and Reading: Camille Dungy


Camille Dungy, professor of English at Colorado State University, will be honored at a Distinguished Author Reception April 16, 4 – 6 p.m., 108 Johnson Hall on the CSU campus. The reception is free and open to the public, and hosted by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at CSU.

Camille T. Dungy is the author of Smith Blue, Suck on the Marrow, and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison. She edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, and co-edited the From the Fishouse poetry anthology. Her honors include an American Book Award, two Northern California Book Awards, a California Book Award silver medal, and a fellowship from the NEA. In the Fall of 2013, Dungy joined the faculty of the CSU English Department as a professor.

Dungy’s latest book, Smith Blue, offers a survival guide for the modern heart as Dungy takes on 21st-century questions of love, loss, and nature. From a myriad of lenses, these poems examine the human capacity for perseverance in the wake of heartbreak; the loss of beloved heroes and landscapes; and our determination in the face of everyday struggles.

The poems explore the dual nature of our presence on the planet, juxtaposing the devastation caused by human habitation with our own vulnerability to the capricious whims of our environment. In doing so, they reveal with fury and tenderness the countless ways in which we both create and are victims of catastrophe.

In the end, the book demonstrates how we are all intertwined, regardless of race or species, living and loving as best we are able in the shadows of both man-made and natural follies.

At the reading, copies of Dungy’s recent book, Smith Blue, will be available for purchase and refreshments will be served.  For more information, go to http://www.camilledungy.com/Poetry.htm