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The English Department of Lycoming College is sponsoring a reading by American poet Christopher Bakken as part of its Himes/Sweeney Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing series this spring of 2018. The event takes place on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Lindsay Welch Honors Hall of Lycoming College, located on the corner of Fourth and Basin streets, in Williamsport.
Christopher Bakken is the author of three books of poetry, “Eternity & Oranges,” “Goat Funeral” and “After Greece.” He is also the author of a culinary memoir, “Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table,” and the co-translator of “The Lions' Gate: Selected Poems of Titos Patrikios.” Bakken's poems, essays, translations and reviews have appeared widely in the United States and Europe, in places such as Best American Poetry 2016, The Paris Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review and The Wall Street Journal. He has been awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize in Poetry, the McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Nonfiction from the Southwest Review, the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, and he served as a Fulbright Scholar in American Studies at the University of Bucharest in 2008. Bakken is Frederick F. Seeley Professor and department chair of English at Allegheny College. In the summer, he serves as the director of Writing Workshops in Greece: Thessaloniki & Thasos.
Dr. Sascha Feinstein, Director of the series, praises Bakken’s poetry for its “mercurial intrigue” and “superb craftsmanship.” Bakken’s verse, Feinstein explains, “often moves like the line of a fly fisherman, simultaneously moving forward and backward.” As an example, he cites this couplet from the poem “Myth”: “Below the house, the sea surged into a cave. / No, she said again, the cave opened to the sea.”
The Himes/Sweeney Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing is an endowed fund created by Lycoming College alumna Diane Sweeney (’92) in 2009 to promote discussion and exploration among students, faculty and the community on the topic of creative writing.