Poet Diane Gilliam will present two readings at Iowa Wesleyan College. Both events are open to the public at no charge.
Gilliam’s readings will be Wednesday, September 30, at 7:00 p.m. and Thursday, October 1, at 11:00 a.m. Both will be held in the Chapel Auditorium on the Iowa Wesleyan College campus.
Gilliam is the author of “Kettle Bottom,” a collection of 51 poems exploring the violent West Virginia mine wars of 1920-21. The poems are divided into three sections, narrated by 20 different speakers. They present the stories of the men who descend into the mines and the women and children who wait for them to emerge at the end of each shift. The poems have been described as “compelling narratives with the charged, heightened language of lyric poetry.”
“Kettle Bottom” won the 2008 Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. It was named the American Booksellers Association Book Sense Top Ten Poetry Book for 2005 and winner of the Ohioana Library Association Book of the Year Award in Poetry 2005. It also won a Pushcart Prize.
Gilliam is also the author of “One of Everything,” published in 2003, and “Recipe for Blackberry Cake,” published in 1999. In 2008 an audio version of “Kettle Bottom” was produced for West Virginia Public Radio.
Fischer was born in Columbus, Ohio. She and her parents were a part of the Appalachian outmigration. Gilliam earned a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Ohio State University and an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. In 2003 she was recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship.
Gilliam’s readings are sponsored by the Haselmayer Endowment for the Arts at Iowa Wesleyan College.