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Nationally acclaimed poet to read from her work April 19 at UNT

Nationally acclaimed poet to read from her work April 19 at UNT

What: Poet Laura Kasischke, winner of the first UNT Rilke Prize given by the University of North Texas Creative Writing Program and the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, reads from her work at UNT. Part of the UNT Department of English's Visiting Writers Series

When: 8 p.m. April 19 (Thursday)

Where: Room 255 of UNT's Eagle Student Services Center, which is located at 1147 Union Circle between Avenues A and C

Cost: Free

Contact: Lisa Vining in the UNT Department of English Creative Writing Program, 940-369-5981 or

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Laura Kasischke, who recently became the first winner of the $10,000 UNT Rilke Prize given by the University of North Texas' Creative Writing Program, will read selections from "Space, in Chains," the poetry collection for which she received the prize, at UNT April 19 (Thursday). The book was also recently recognized with a National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2011.

Kasischke's free poetry reading will begin at 8 p.m. in Room 255 of UNT's Eagle Student Services Center, located between Avenues A and C at 1147 Union Circle. Her visit to UNT, which will include a question-and-answer session with students the afternoon before her reading, is part of the Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the UNT Department of English.

In January, Kasischke was announced as the first winner of the UNT Rilke Prize, which recognizes a book of poetry published during the previous year that "demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision written by a mid-career poet." The faculty of the UNT Creative Writing Program named the prize for the early 20th-century German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who is best known for his "Duino Elegies," written from 1912 to 1922.

"What distinguishes the prize is that it recognizes poets at a middle stage in their writing life -- before they've received other major recognition, but after they're no longer emerging writers and are writing their mature work," said Corey Marks, associate professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program.

In selecting "Space, in Chains" as the Rilke Prize winner, Marks and Bruce Bond, Regents Professor of English, wrote that Kasischke "reveals a penetrating insight into what makes people work and not work through her characteristic emotional range, wit, surprising and uncanny imagery, and an intensity created through spare and radiant language."

The UNT Rilke Prize will be awarded each year, with the winner presenting a reading from his or her honored poetry collection to end the Visiting Writers Series for the spring semester. The winner will also make at least one public appearance in the Dallas-Fort Worth area outside of Denton. Kasischke will also read from "Space, in Chains" April 20 (Friday) at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Cultures.

A professor of English at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Kasischke has also received the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Juniper Prize for Poetry from the University of Massachusetts Press, several Pushcart Prizes and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In addition to her poetry collections, Kasischke has written eight novels, including "The Life Before Her Eyes," which became the basis for a 2007 film of the same name; and "Be Mine," which became a national bestseller in France with the title "A moi pour toujours." Kasischke is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Michigan.