Tess Taylor visits UCA as artist-in-residence

Tess Taylor visits UCA as artist-in-residence

By: Aurora King, Office of Media Relations

CONWAYThe University of Central Arkansas will host acclaimed poet Tess Taylor as artist-in-residence from Thursday, Nov. 3, to Friday, Nov. 4.

Presented by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Taylor will hold a public reading and book signing on Friday, Nov. 4, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the McCastlain Ballroom. This event will be held in conjunction with the 2022 C.D. Wright Women’s Writer Conference, in which Taylor will be the keynote speaker.

“Tess Taylor’s poetry is steeped in the details of place, from the geology beneath our feet to both the wild and human environments surrounding us,” said Associate Chair and Professor of UCA’s Creative Writing Program Sandy Longhorn. “Her visit will offer UCA students a model on how to write about their own personal spaces and places with authenticity, embracing the treasures and the challenges found in our cultural histories, our ecologies and our families.”

In addition to the signing, Taylor will lead a poetry masterclass on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 4-5:30 p.m. and host a poetry craft talk on Friday, Nov. 4, from 12-12:50 p.m. Both events will be in Win Thompson Hall, room 331.

Taylor has authored five collections of poetry. In spring 2020, she published two books of poems. “Last West” was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art as a part of the Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures exhibition. From Red Hen Press, “Rift Zone” was named one of the best books in 2020 by the Boston Globe and hailed as brilliant by the LA Times.

“Taylor also brings experience integrating archival research into hybrid texts, most recently in her book ‘Last West: Roadsongs for Dorothea Lange,’ in which the poet retraces Lange’s Depression-era photographic journeys and then creates a new work reflecting on how the present mirrors the past in terms of climate change and economic instability,” said Longhorn. “In this work, Taylor speaks across programs and departments, including not only creative writing, professional writing and English, but also photography, history, geology, human geography and more.”

One of Taylor’s other publications, “Work and Days” was named one of the best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. “The Forage House” was called stunning by The San Francisco Chronicle, and “The Misrembered World” was selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America’s inaugural chapbook fellowship.

Taylor has served as an on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s “All Things Considered” for over a decade, and she is currently on the faculty of Ashland University’s Low-Res Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing Program.

The artist-in-residence programs are funded by the UCA arts fee. All events are located on the UCA campus and are free to UCA students and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Tickets are not required unless specified. For more information, contact Gayle Seymour, associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at 501-450-3293 or gayles@uca.edu or visit CAHSS artists-in-residence.

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