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Poetry reading series at EIU on February 12th

From an EIU English Department release:

Three area poets to take part in new reading series Feb. 12

A new poetry reading series is coming to Charleston thanks to an endowed fund established to honor a longtime supporter of the arts in Coles County.

Three poets will read their work during the inaugural Nancy Hennings Memorial Poetry Reading Series on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Dudley House, 895 Seventh St., Charleston. Readings will be given by guest poet Janice N. Harrington, Eastern Illinois University English instructor Dan Tessitore, and EIU graduate student Tana Young.

Deirdre Hennings established the endowed fund supporting this poetry reading series in honor of her mother, Nancy “Nan” Hennings, said Dana Ringuette, chair of the EIU Department of English.

“For many, many years Nan organized a monthly poetry reading, involving campus and community, at the Dudley House,” Ringuette said. “The house was built in 1892 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the US Department of Interior. As a member of the Coles County Historical Society and a lifelong reader of poetry, Nan saw the house as a perfect gathering place for poets and lovers of poetry.”

Harrington is author of two books of poetry, “Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone,” (2007) winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and “The Hands of Strangers: Poems from the Nursing Home” (2011).

She is the winner of a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry and a 2009 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for emerging women writers. Her poetry appears regularly in American literary magazines. She has also written two children’s books.

Harrington teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Tessitore has been an instructor in the EIU Department of English since 2002. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arkansas in 1995. His work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, The Laurel Review, and elsewhere.

Young is a graduate assistant in the Department of English at EIU with an emphasis in creative writing pedagogy. She has also attained a MFA in creative writing and a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in art history. Her writing can be found in Railtown Almanac, Shark Reef, Weyfarers, The Writing Disorder, Waccamaw, Southloop Review, Rock & Sling, Hawai’i Review and Gently Read. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, her work engages with landscapes and place.

This is the first of two Dudley House readings planned for this semester. Each reading will be given in a salon-style setting that involves students and the community in dynamic conversations about poetry and will include a guest poet, a faculty member or local poet, and a student at EIU. The second reading is scheduled for Monday, April 13.

Sponsored by the Nancy Hennings Memorial Poetry Reading Fund and the EIU Department of English, the readings are free to attend and open to the public.

For more information, visit or call 217-581-2428.

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