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Reading and Reception will honor Poet Bobby C. Rogers

Union University professor receives prestigious fellowship
Bobby C. Rogers

Poet Bobby C. Rogers, a professor at Union University in Jackson, has received the prestigious 2015 Witter Bynner Fellowship. The fellowship was bestowed by National Poet Laureate Charles Wright, a native Tennessean.

Rogers will receive a $10,000 stipend, and will be honored at a reading and reception on Tuesday, November 17 at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The event is free to the public and begins with Rogers’ reading at 6:30 pm. Book signing and reception will follow the reading, and book sales will be available.

The event is presented by the Tennessee Center for the Book, housed at Humanities Tennessee, and by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Commenting on his selection, Wright said, "Bobby C. Rogers is a very narrative poet, and tells stories about memory and pieces of memory—how they fit together or don’t always fit, and what that means for the language’s inability to say what we want it to say"

Rogers is the author of Paper Anniversary (2010), winner of the 2009 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. He is the recipient of the Greensboro Review Literary Prize in Poetry and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in literary journals such as The Southern Review, Georgia Review and Shenandoah, among others.

The Witter Bynner fellowships support the writing of poetry. Only two things are asked of the fellows: that they organize a reading in their hometowns and participate in reading and recording sessions at the Library of Congress. Applications are not taken for the fellowships; the Poet Laureate makes the selection.

The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry was incorporated in 1972 in New Mexico to provide grant support for programs through non-profit organizations. Witter Bynner was an influential early-20th century poet and translator of the Chinese Classic "Tao Te Ching," which he named "The Way of Life According to Laotzu." He travelled with D.H. Lawrence and Frieda Lawrence and proposed to Edna St. Vincent Millay (she accepted, but then they changed their minds). He worked at McClure’s Magazine, where he published A .E. Housman for the first time in the United States, and was one of O. Henry’s early fans.

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center fosters and enhances the public's appreciation of literature. To this end, the Center administers the endowed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry position, coordinates an annual season of readings, performances, lectures, conferences, and symposia, and sponsors prizes and fellowships for literary writers. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/poetry/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.