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Poetry reading to spotlight Mark Todd, Natalie Giarratano

Poetry reading to spotlight Mark Todd, Natalie Giarratano

The event celebrates the release of Todd’s revised, updated and re-released poetry collection, “Tamped, but Loose Enough To Breathe.”

Todd will be joined in the spotlight by 2018 Fort Collins poet laureate Natalie Giarratano, who will read from her most recent book of poetry, “Big Thicket Blues.”

Todd is the recipient of the 2017 Karen Chamberlain Lifetime Achievement Award for Colorado Poetry, and he has appeared on both Colorado Public Radio and the Travel Channel representing his work. He founded Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, and he has been an English professor at Western since 1988. He also serves as contributing editor for Western Press Books.

Todd has 25 years of professional journalism experience, having published hundreds of news stories, features, columns and editorials in local and international markets alike. He also served as editor and publisher of both a newspaper and a regional magazine. At one point, he digested online news for the Lycos daily news service.

Todd has performed his poetry across the country and in Europe. His books include two collections of poetry, a science fiction novel and, as co-author with wife Kym O’Connell-Todd, a comedy/fantasy trilogy and a creative nonfiction book about hauntings in frontier mining towns of the Rocky Mountains. Three of his books were nominated for Colorado Book Awards and one was also nominated for the Colorado Blue Spruce Award.

Giarratano is originally from small-town southeast Texas. She received her Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. She is the author of not only “Big Thicket Blues” (Sundress Publications, January 2017), but also “Leaving Clean” (Briery Creek Press, 2013), winner of the 2013 Liam Rector First Book Prize in Poetry.

Giarratano’s poems have appeared in Sakura Review, Black Tongue Review, Beltway Poetry, Tupelo Quarterly, Tinderbox and TYPO, among others. She’s a freelance editor and lives in northern Colorado with her partner, their daughter and pup.

A Q&A session with Todd and Giarratano will follow the poetry readings. The event will conclude with Todd and Giarratano selling and signing books.

About Western’s Contemporary Writer Series

In Fall 2014, the Communication Arts, Languages and Literature Department, in concert with the English program, at Western Colorado University launched its Contemporary Writer Series, which brings emerging and established literary writers to campus and community venues for short residencies during the regular school year for readings, craft lectures and classroom visits. The series provides access to published writers for the campus and greater Gunnison community as well as student-centered offerings. The CWS director is Elizabyth A. Hiscox, Ph.D., who is an assistant professor of English at Western.

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