CHAMPAIGN — Kathleen Graber, a former high school English teacher who was inspired to write poetry after taking students on a field trip, will read from her critically acclaimed collections at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Illini Union Bookstore, 809 S. Wright St.
Now a professor in the creative writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University, Graber was inspired by hearing poet Mark Doty read at the Dodge Poetry Festival in 1994. She subsequently earned a master's of fine arts degree at New York University.
She has written two poetry collections, the second of which, "The Eternal City," was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has received fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Ginger Andrews, who spins poetry out of housecleaning, frozen dinners and mending her husband's work pants, will read at the bookstore on April 10. Her first collection, "An Honest Answer," published in 1999, won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Poems from her second collection, "Hurricane Sisters," have been featured more than 15 times on "The Writer's Almanac," a five-minute daily radio and online program hosted by Garrison Keillor.
Graber and Andrews will appear as part of the Robert J. and Katherin Carr Visiting Author Series. All readings are free and open to the public, and take place in the Author's Corner on the second floor of the bookstore.