We are extremely honored to have Ethelbert Miller celebrate the opening of his New and Collected Poems with us here at Marymount next week. His reading and book launch are part of our poetry series, which began exactly 25 years ago. Ethelbert was the second reader in that series, so his relationship with Marymount goes back a long way. In fact, I first met him here at a reading he gave in 2007. I was not only awed by his beautiful poems, but also amazed at his kindness and generosity in speaking with our students. He was genuinely interested in their lives and their writing, and he asked several of them to send him their work. One of my most promising students, Kirsten Porter, sent him some poems, and this contact began a long and rewarding literary partnership that led to her editing his memoir, The Fifth Inning, and then to editing his New and Collected Poems, which will launch here next week.
Ethelbert was one of the first poets I met in the D.C. area, and as I soon discovered, there is no better introduction to the D.C. poetry scene than Ethelbert Miller. He not only made me feel welcome and introduced me to so much of what I have come to love about the city, but he was also extremely encouraging with his time and advice in helping me think about my writing and my career. There are few poets I hold in higher esteem than Ethelbert, and I can think of no better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Marymount’s poetry scene than with his New and Collected Poems.
An open house from 12:30-1 will precede the reading, which will take place from 1-2 pm in Reinsch Auditorium. A reception and book signing will follow in the Lee Center Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.