Diaz to Speak on "Making Poetry Matter"

Joanne Diaz

Nov. 24, 2015  

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.

By Emily Phelps ’19