Poet Mary Biddinger to read at Penn State Behrend on April 20

Reading marks final edition of 2016-17 Creative Writers Reading Series

ERIE, Pa. — The best comedians root their humor in honesty and truthful self-reflection. Poet Mary Biddinger succeeds with the same approach.

“(Her) poems are jarring and honest, and so many of the lines reach out to push you, two-handed, across the chest,” wrote Danielle Susi in a 2015 review of Biddinger’s collection, “A Sunny Place with Adequate Water.” “Biddinger is never afraid to be a bit silly or humorous, and ‘A Sunny Place’ is a little weird, a little quirky and a lot beautiful.”

Biddinger will read excerpts from that collection and others on Thursday, April 20, during the final edition of the 2016-17 Creative Writers Reading Series at Penn State Behrend. Her 6 p.m. reading and the reception preceding it are free and open to the public. Both events will be held in the Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel.

Biddinger is the author of six poetry collections and the co-editor of a volume of essays, “The Monkey and the Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics.” Her work has appeared in several literary publications, including Barrelhouse, Bat City Review, Blackbird, Crab Orchard Review, The Denver Quarterly, Forklift, Ohio, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast and The Laurel Review.

Biddinger is a professor and assistant chair of the English Department at the University of Akron, and she is also on the faculty of the NEOMFA: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. She is also a founder of the Barn Owl Review, an independent, annual poetry magazine.

The Creative Writers Reading Series is produced by Penn State Behrend’s bachelor of fine arts in creative writing degree program with support from the Clarence A. and Eugenie Baumann Smith Fund. For additional information, call 814-898-6108 or visit behrend.psu.edu/readings.