George Bilgere will be the featured poet at the annual Esther Goldhaber Jacovitz Poetry Reading. Dr. Bilgere will read from his award-winning works beginning at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in the Whalley Memorial Chapel on the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown campus.
The event, presented by Pitt-Johnstown’s Humanities Division, is free of charge and open to the public. A book signing will follow.
Dr. Bilgere was a featured guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion and his poetry is frequently celebrated on National Public Radio’s popular program The Writer’s Almanac. He is the author of five books of poetry, which have been awarded numerous distinctions including the May Swenson Poetry Award and the Akron Poetry Prize. Additionally, he has received honors from the Pushcart Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright Foundation, among others. His newest collection of poetry, Imperial, is forthcoming this year from the University of Pittsburgh Press.
US Poet Laureate Billy Collins describes Bilgere’s work as “a welcome breath of fresh, American air in the house of poetry.”
Dr. Bilgere lives in Cleveland, Ohio and teaches literature at John Carroll University. He earned his BA at the University of California, Riverside, his MA in English literature at Washington University, and his PhD in contemporary British and American poetry at the University of Denver.
Dr. Bilgere’s appearance marks the tenth anniversary of the annual Esther Goldhaber Jacovitz Poetry Reading, made possible by a generous endowment from Pitt-Johnstown alumna Esther Goldhaber Jacovitz. Previous poets have included Mark Doty, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Mary Ann Samyn, Lynn Emanuel, Terrance Hayes, Nick Flynn, Thomas Lux, Marilyn Chin, J. Allyn Rosser, and Mark Halliday.
Photo: The Poetry Foundation
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization." Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.
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