BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Poet and Illinois Wesleyan University Associate Professor of English
Joanne Diaz will present a “Lunch and Learn” on Dec. 10. The session, to be held from
12:10 to 12:40 p.m. in the Governor Fifer Courtroom of the McLean County Museum of
History, is entitled “Making Poetry Matter: Poetry and the Archive in the 21st Century.”
Archives provide poets with a way to capture the past and retool it for their own
uses, Diaz said. Many poets have turned to archives to exhume some of history’s most
difficult narratives on race, gender and violence. During the Dec. 10 presentation,
Diaz will read from Martha Collins' Blue Front and lead a discussion of Collins’ use of the archive to create a poetics of engagement.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch and join the discussion.
Diaz is the author of two collections of poetry, including My Favorite Tyrants, for which she received the 2013 Brittingham Prize in Poetry. She is also co-editor
of The Little Magazine in Contemporary America, a collection of essays and reflections on the world of little magazines. She is
the past recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois
Arts Council, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.
Diaz joined the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan in 2008 after earning a doctorate in
English literature from Northwestern University.
The Lunch and Learn series is sponsored by the McLean County Museum of History, the
Collaborative Solutions Institute and Illinois Wesleyan.