Featured poet for the 20th anniversary of the H. MacKnight Black Poetry Competition at Lafayette College in Easton, PA.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Muldoon is coming to Lafayette College on Wednesday, April 16. He is the featured poet for the 20th anniversary of the College’s H. MacKnight Black Poetry Competition and will read from his work following readings by the winning students at 7 p.m.

The event, which is free and open the public, will take place in the Williams Center for the Arts. A reception and book signing will follow.

Earlier in the day at 4:10 p.m., Muldoon will host a question-and-answer session in the Marlo Room of Farinon College Center.

The winner of this year’s H. MacKnight Black Poetry Competition is Allentown resident Jasmine Jay, a senior English major, for “Two-Dimensional Jesus.” Honorable mentions include senior April Barry, a double major in English and international affairs from Point Pleasant, N.J., for “The Penguin Figurines” and Henna Cho, a senior double major in English and psychology, from Demarest, N.J. for “Twin.”

Muldoon has published over 30 collections and won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2003 and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He served as the first outside judge of the MacKnight Black contest in 1994.

In honor of the 20th anniversary, several professional poets who previously won campus poetry contests will take part in the Alumni Poets Reading 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in room 104 of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights. The reading, which will include a panel discussion about the writing life, features  Ross Gay ’96, Leslie Ann Hobayan ’95, Leslie Sysko ’97, and Yolanda Wisher ’98.

Lafayette’s celebration of National Poetry Month will close with a New Writers Cabaret, featuring poems and fiction pieces written by creative writing students at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29 in the faculty dining room of Marquis Hall.

Open to seniors, the MacKnight competition is named for H. MacKnight Black ’16, who at the time of his death in 1931, was one of America’s most significant poets.

This is also the inaugural year of Lafayette’s Creative Writing House on Monroe Street. The three students who live there plan to create programming for slam poetry competitions and open mic readings for poets, fiction writers, and other imaginative writers.

National Poetry Month events at Lafayette are sponsored by the Department of English, Dean of the College, the Office of the Provost, and Friends of Skillman Library.


Higher res photo available upon request.

Lafayette is a highly selective, national liberal arts college in Easton, Pa. with 2,400 students and 215 full-time faculty, offering a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs including engineering.

Kathleen Parrish
Associate Director of Media Relations
Lafayette College
Communications Division
Easton, PA 18042

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