February 8, 2016

FAU Presents ‘Readings in DIRT’ by South Florida Authors

Six nationally recognized writers will read original works that explore the theme of "dirt," its literal and figurative connotations, in conjunction with the exhibition “DIRT: Yuta Suelo Udongo Tè,” which is currently on view at Florida Atlantic University’s Ritter Gallery, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.  The readings take place on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m., and are free and open to the public. More information can be found at www.fau.edu/galleries.  

Miami writers Michael Hettich, John Dufresne, Elizabeth Jacobson and Geoffrey Philp will join FAU professors Andrew Furman, Ph.D., (English) and Edward Petuch, Ph.D., (geology). The authors will present their works written specifically for the exhibition as well as texts about this fundamental element that they have selected by other authors.

Hettich, an award-winning author, curated the program while contemplating the nature of “dirt” in language: “What is dirt and dirty depends on context as much as material, doesn’t it? And don’t we grow our food in dirt? When it comes right down to it, everything is dirt, though not everything is dirty.” Hettich has published more than a dozen books of poetry, most recently, “Systems of Vanishing (University of Tampa Press, 2014), which won the 2013 Tampa Review Poetry prize. He has worked extensively with artists and musicians and was instrumental in the SWEAT Broadside Portfolios, a collaboration of South Florida book artists, novelists, poets and printmakers. He teaches English and creative writing at Miami-Dade College.  

Dufresne has published novels, short story collections, poetry chapbooks, guides to writing, plays and screenplays. Two of his novels, “Louisiana Power & Light” (Plume, 1994) and “Love Warps the Mind a Little” (W.W. Norton, 2008), have been New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He teaches in the MFA program at Florida International University.

Jacobson has published numerous works of poetry, including a book of poems titled “Her Knees Pulled In” (Tres Chicas Books, 2012). She is the founding director of the WingSpan Poetry Project at Lotus House in Miami and at several locations in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which brings weekly poetry classes to local shelters.

Geoffrey Philp is a Jamaican poet, novelist and playwright. He is author of the novel “Benjamin, My Son” (Peepal Tree, 2003), and five poetry collections. Philp is associate professor in the English department at Miami-Dade College where he teaches creative writing.

Furman has published works of fiction, nonfiction and literary criticism, including “Bitten: My Unexpected Love Affair with Florida” (University Press of Florida, 2014). Furman teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at FAU.

Petuch’s research interests lie in the geology of the Florida peninsula and the Atlantic coastal plain, among other topics. He has authored many works, including “The Geology of the Everglades and Adjacent Areas” (Taylor and Francis, 2007). Petuch teaches in the Department of Geosciences at FAU.

For more information and a full schedule of events, call the University Galleries at 561-297-2661 or visit www.fau.edu/galleries.

The exhibition and programs are made possible by grants from State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Cultural Council of Palm Beach County; Beatrice Cummings Mayer and R.A. Ritter Foundation. Museum Education and AMP Programs made possible by Kaye Arts Integration Endowment and a grant from the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

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