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Award-winning poet Melissa Kwasny to hold reading at C of I

The College of Idaho will host Montana-based poet Melissa Kwasny for a free reading event at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23 on campus in the Sterry Hall Board Room, where she will read from her most recent collection of poems, Where Outside the Body is the Soul Today.

An author of both novels and poetry, Kwasny’s work has received critical acclaim since the release of her first novel Modern Daughters of the Outlaw West in 1993. Her second collection of poems, Thistle, received the 2005 Idaho Prize for poetry and the 2007 Silver Award from ForeWord magazine. In 2009, Kwasny received both the Cecil Hemley Award and the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award for Work in Progress from the Poetry Society of America.

Where Outside the Body is the Soul Today is Kwasny’s fifth collection of poetry, and her first since 2011’s prose poetry collection The Nine Senses. C of I English Professor Diane Raptosh, who helped arrange Kwasny’s visit, praised Kwasny’s work as both unique and special.

“Melissa Kwasny’s poetry blends lush sensuality with a naturalist’s eye and a philosopher’s savvy — not to mention that she has the ear of a highly trained musician,” Raptosh said. “Her work is a feast for the senses.”

During Kwasny’s visit, she will read selections from her newest collection and will hold a Q&A session following the reading. Kwasny will hold a poetry writing workshop at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24 at the College of Western Idaho in Nampa, where she will give another poetry reading at 7 p.m.

Each event is free and open to the public.

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit