Apr 18, 2023

Penn State Creative Writing Director to give poetry reading at Dordt University on April 19

Penn State University Creative Writing Program Director Dr. Julia Kasdorf will visit Dordt University’s campus to read from her poetry on Wednesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in the Science and Technology Center (SB 1606). The reading is open to the public. Refreshments will be provided following the event.

Kasdorf is the author of five books of poetry including Sleeping Preacher (1992), Eve’s Striptease (1998), and most recently As Is (2023). Dr. Kasdorf’s work often springs from her Mennonite roots and upbringing in rural Pennsylvania and focuses on issues related to place, including social and environmental justice. In 2001, she wrote The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life (which won Book of the Year from the Conference on Christianity and Literature) and in 2018, she co-wrote Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields with photojournalist Steve Rubin.

“Dr. Kasdorf’s poetry is at once accessible and incredibly challenging,” says Howard Schaap, professor of English at Dordt. “I appreciate the way she brings biblical imagination to her poetic subjects, meaning scriptural ideas can touch any topic in ways that are surprising and insightful.”

Schaap says that it is important for students to have contact with poets and writers who are creating literature now, today, and not to think of literature as something abstract or in the past.

“As someone who came from a very strong faith community but who is now a nationally known poet, Dr. Kasdorf offers our students a model for faith and art coming together to impact a wider world,” adds Schaap. “Her relationship to place is at once wonderfully rich and yet complex, and it gives her insight into other places and relationships that is the foundation of her writing.”

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers