Mary E. Rolling Reading Series to present poet Tim Seibles on Thursday, April 7

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Poet Tim Seibles will offer a reading at 7:30 pm on Thursday, April 7, in Paterno Library’s Foster Auditorium as the final event in this year’s Mary E. Rolling Reading Series. The reading, which is free and open to the public, will also be available via livestream; those interested in attending virtually must register in advance.

Seibles, a Philadelphia native, is the author of seven collections of poetry, including his most recent, “Voodoo Libretto” (Etruscan Press, 2022), and “Fast Animal” (2012), which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and was nominated for a 2012 National Book Award.

According to Seibles, “Fast Animal” is about the importance of remembering, the burden of race, and the meaning of true wakefulness. The National Book Award judges had this to say about the book: “Tim Seibles’ work is proof: the new American poet can’t just speak one language. In his new book by him, he fuses our street corners’ quickest wit, our violent vernaculars, and our numerous tongues of longing and love. I have records danger. He records the sensual world. And he records a troubled enlightenment, which is a ‘fast animal’ pivoting toward two histories at eleven.”

Reflecting on writing, Seibles said, “I think poetry, if it’s going to be really engaging and engaged, has to be able to come at the issues of our lives from all kinds of angles and all of ways: loudly and quietly, angrily. and soothingly, with comedy and with dead seriousness. Our lives are worth every risk, every manner of approach.”

Seibles’ poems have been published in the Indiana Review, Black Renaissance Noire, Cortland Review, Ploughshares, Massachusetts Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and numerous other literary journals and anthologies, including “Best American Poetry.” Seibles has received fellowships from both the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2016-18 and a former faculty member of Old Dominion University’s English Department and MFA in Creative Writing Program, Seibles lives in Norfolk, Virginia, where he continues to teach for the Muse Community Writing Center. He has also led workshops for Cave Canem, The Writers Hotel, the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference, and the Palm Beach Poetry Festival.

The Mary E. Rolling Reading Series is a program offered by Penn State’s Creative Writing Program in English. The series receives support from the College of the Liberal Arts; the Department of English; the Joseph L. Grucci Poetry Endowment; the Mary E. Rolling Lectureship in Creative Writing; and University Libraries. A full list of, and links to, previous readings can be found at

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