'Lifetime Achievement' award winner David Kirby to read at Penn State Behrend

Creative Writers Reading Series returns Oct. 19

ERIE, Pa. — In 2016, David Kirby received the Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing. It’s a reward that was well-deserved.

“David Kirby’s poetry is not only poignantly affecting, it is also filled with great humor,” said Tom Noyes, professor of English and creative writing at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. “He takes seriously Robert Frost’s advice that the best poems should somehow achieve ‘the happy/sad blend of a drinking song.’”

Kirby will read poems from his latest collection, “Get Up, Please,” on Thursday, Oct. 19, when the 2017-18 edition of the Creative Writers Reading Series returns to Penn State Behrend. His 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.

In “Get Up, Please,” which was released in March 2016, Kirby uses both comical and complex poems to look at the human condition through ordinary lives. It’s a theme that’s consistent with much of his poetry, which has been published in more than 20 books and frequently appears in The Southern Review. His 2007 collection, “The House on Boulevard St.,” was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award in poetry.

Kirby is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University. His work has won numerous awards, including four Pushcart Prizes, the James Dickey Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

The Creative Writers Reading Series is produced by Penn State Behrend’s B.F.A. 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.