Big Dog series features faculty tandem

For Immediate Release:  Jan. 28, 2015

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University’s Big Dog Reading Series returns for its 15th year, featuring Jerry Wemple, assistant professor of English, and Shanna L. Smith, English instructor.

Their reading will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in Monty’s Assembly Room on upper campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Wemple’s work includes three poetry collections, “You Can See It From Here,” selected by Pulitzer Prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa for the Naomi Long Madgett poetry Award; “The Civil War in Baltimore”; and “The Artemas Poems.” Wemple has received awards for both writing and teaching, including a Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Word Journal chapbook prize. His work has been included in journals and anthologies, including publications in Chile and Ireland. A Susquehanna Valley native, Wemple’s work often details the people and places of this area.

Originally from Kentucky, Smith was featured in the 2001 documentary, “Coal Black Voices,” celebrating the Affrilachian Poets’ 10th anniversary, and performed with the group again in 2011 at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. Her work has been published in Artists in Revolution, Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium: An Anthology of Contemporary Mid-Western Poetry and Java House Anthology. In 1999, Smith was selected to attend the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Institute for poetry and received a grant for poetry from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. 

The Big Dog Reading Series is a part of the College of Liberal Arts’ Center for Visual and Performing Arts. The series will continue on Tuesday, March 24, with Domenica Ruta, author of the memoir “With or Without You.”

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.