Connie Wanek, prize winning poet and author, will read from her recently published Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems, in a special appearance at the Arizona Senior Academy on Friday (Feb. 5), beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Wanek is a Witter Bynner fellow of the Library of Congress and is well known from her earlier readings at The Academy Village.
Novelist Charles Baxter says of her new book, “Connie Wanek’s beautiful poems travel effortlessly among our various realms—the human, the natural, and the cosmic, inhabited by gods who may have some resemblance to ourselves. The light is wonderfully clear in these accounts, as is the darkness, each one illuminating the other.”
Connie Wanek was born in Madison, Wisconsin and attended New Mexico State University. She began publishing poetry later in life; her first book of poems, Bonfire, was released in 1997. Until then, she worked in Duluth, Minnesota as a librarian and restorer of houses.
Her poetry contains powerful images that often deal with nature and natural order. Wanek’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Great River Review, Poetry East, Water-Stone, and many other publications over the years. In 2006, US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser named her a Witter Bynner Fellow of the Library of Congress.
She also served as a co-editor with Joyce Sutphen and Thom Tammaro on the comprehensive anthology, To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present, which appeared in 2007 from New Rivers Press, and which has won several awards. In 2014 she also published a book of prose, ten stories, called Summer Cars with Will o’ the Wisp Press.
Written by Nancy Fitzgerald, Academy Village Volunteer