Award-winning poet and educator Lisa Fay Coutley returns to her undergraduate alma mater, UW-Green Bay, for a reading and question-and-answer session on Monday, Oct. 26.
The program, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 1 p.m. in the Christie Theatre on the lower level of the University Union, located on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive.
Coutley is an assistant professor of creative writing and poetry at Snow College in Utah. In January 2016, she will relocate to Eugene, Ore., for a half-year assignment as a visiting professor with the poetry and creative writing program at the University of Oregon.
Coutley will read from works including her debut poetry collection, Errata, published earlier this year by Southern Illinois University Press.
The author describes Errata as exploring the delicate balance between parent and child, love and loss, hope and grief. The collection deals with the lingering consequences of abuse and addiction while also describing the power of hope, determination and will to move forward. Wrote one reviewer, “Coutley dares her readers to a staring contest and never looks away.”
Errata won the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award. Also earning honors for Coutley were two previous chapbooks — In the Carnival of Breathing (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), which won the Black River Chapbook Competition, and Back-Talk (Articles Press, 2010), winner of the Rooms Chapbook Contest.
Coutley earned a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Academy of American Poets Levis Prize, and her poetry and prose have been anthologized in Best New Poets, Best of the Net, Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and elsewhere.
As a student at UW-Green Bay, Coutley majored in English, minored in Humanistic Studies and earned her bachelor’s degree with cum laude honors in December 2004. She went on to receive a master’s in nonfiction and master’s of fine arts in poetry from Northern Michigan University before completing her Ph.D. in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah. She was poetry editor for each institution’s literary journal: Sheepshead Review at UW-Green Bay, NMU’s Passages North and Utah’s Quarterly West.
Rebecca Meacham, an associate professor of English and Humanistic Studies at UW-Green Bay and director of the school’s creative writing program, arranged for Coutley’s visit.
Students enrolled in Meacham’s Intermediate Creative Writing course will be among those in attendance for Coutley’s 1 p.m. Oct. 26 reading in the Christie Theatre. Meacham recalls teaching the course for the first time at UW-Green Bay in fall 2002, with Coutley — the future Meacham teaching assistant, published poet and guest lecturer— as a standout student.
“To put it mildly, she’s done quite well since graduating from UWGB,” Meacham says. “To achieve what she has, in a relatively short time, is very impressive. She’s a star.”