Poets Kurtis Lamkin and Evie Shockley will conduct a reading of their poems at 8:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, in the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Daugherty-Palmer Commons to honor the late Lucille Clifton’s literary legacy in poetry. Clifton, a beloved teacher at St. Mary’s, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry, and a Maryland poet laureate, died last year. The reading is free and open to the public, and kicks off this year’s annual VOICES Reading Series at the college.
Lamkin plays the kora, a 21-string West African instrument, and has toured in the U.S. and abroad. His animated poem “The Foxes Manifesto” aired on PBS, and his poems have been published in many magazines and anthologies, including Crazy Horse and Paterson Literary Review. He is currently touring with his latest recording, “Magic Yams.”
Shockley has published several collections of poetry, most recently, “the new black.” She co-edited the magazine jubilat and is a contributing editor of Evening Will Come. She teaches at Rutgers University.
The reading will mark the publication of the anthology, “Come Celebrate with Me,” a VOICES memorial tribute to Clifton that contains poems by more than 50 writers who she brought to St. Mary’s College during her time as a member of the faculty. Both the anthology and works by the guest artists will be available for purchase at the reading.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 2,000 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland.