posted September 24, 2007

Poets Will Discuss How French Poetry Influenced Them

Poets Priscilla Atkins and Kathleen McGookey will discuss how French poetry inspired their writing careers on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 4 p.m. at HopeCollege in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The presentation, titled "The French Muse: On Inspiration and Translation," is sponsored by the French Cultural Studies Colloquium at Hope. Atkins is a librarian with the rank of associate professor, and McGookey is a 1992 Hope graduate.

Atkins completed her undergraduate work at Smith College and holds two master's degrees (one in education, one in library and information science) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Currently on leave from Hope, she is studying for a Master of Fine Arts degree via SpaldingUniversity's low-residency program. Her poetry has appeared in "Southern Humanities Review," "Poetry London," "Poetry," "Shenandoah," "Salmagundi," "Southwest Review," "Raritan" and other journals.

Atkins began studying the French language at age 12. She continued with French through middle school, high school, and college. During the decade she lived in Hawaii, she studied at the "Institut de Touraine" in the LoireValley. Her most recent poems "Un Sucrier for Marcel Proust" and "The Death of Albert Camus" were accepted respectively by "Southern Humanities Review" and "Borderlands."

McGookey graduated from Hope in 1989 with a French major, having spent her junior year studying in Paris. She went on to earn advanced degrees in creative writing and literature at Western Michigan University. She has taught literature and creative writing at Hope, Western, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. She began translating Georges Godeau's poems when she was nearly through with her doctoral studies.

Her poems, prose poems, and translations have appeared in more than 40 journals including "The Antioch Review," "Boston Review," "Epoch," "Field," "Indiana Review," "The Laurel Review," "Ploughshares," "The Prose Poem: An International Journal," "Quarterly West," "Seneca Review," "West Branch" and "Willow Springs."

Her first book of poems is "Whatever Shines," published by White Pine Press in 2001. It is available online through Amazon.com, as well as through many independent booksellers.

McGookey lives in Wayland with her husband and her two young children. She spends her days chasing her curly-haired two-year-old daughter, making peanut butter sandwiches for her five-year-old son, and reading lots of stories to both her children. Her Web site is www.kathleenmcgookey.com.

The Herrick Room is on the southwest corner of the DeWitt Center, which is located at 141 E. 12th St., on the corner of Columbia Avenue and 12th Street.