Published poets, songwriter to give memorial reading

Luis Martinez, Entertainment Editor

The Doudna Fine Arts Center is hosting the Allen Neff Memorial poetry reading at 7 p.m. in the Recital Hall on Monday. The poetry reading will include two feature poets, Wyn Cooper and Matthew Minicucci.

The Center for the Humanities, the English Department, the Nancy Hennings Memorial Poetry Reading Series and the Lynch Humanities series are all sponsors for this event.

Cooper is a poet and a songwriter who has published four books of poetry, “The Country of Here Below,” “The Way Back,” “Postcards from the Interior” and “Chaos is the New Calm.”

His work has also been featured in over a 100 different poetry magazines including “Poetry,” “Ploughshares,” “Slate,” “Crazyhorse,” ”Agni” and “The Southern Review.”

One of Cooper’s poems, “Fun,” was modified to become the lyrics for Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do,” which won a Grammy. Aside from his written work, Cooper also released two CDs titled “Forty Words for Fear” and “Postcards Out of the Blue.”

He has taught at the University of Utah, Bennington College, Marlboro College and at the Frost Place, a museum commemorating poet Robert Frost. Some of his musical works have even been discussed in “Esquire,” “The New York Times Magazine,” and “The New York Observer,” According to Cooper’s website, his music has also been featured on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition.

Minicucci’s recent full-length poetry collection, “Translation,” was chosen as the 2014 Wick Poetry Prize winner, and was published by the Kent State University Press this year.

Minicucci’s work was also featured in many different journals, including “The Cincinnati Review,” “The Massachusetts Review,” “The Southern Review,” and “West Branch.” He was a part of the Best New Poets 2014 anthology.

He also currently teaches writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The event will be free and open to both students and Charleston residents.


Dana Ringuette, the chair for the English Department at Eastern, could not be reached for comment.


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]