In light of the recent release of his new book of poems, “The Subtle Bodies,” Visiting Assistant Professor of Africana Studies James McCorkle ’76 will read a selection of his poems at a book release celebration event hosted by the English Department. The event is free and open to the public and will be held in the Blackwell Room of Demarest Hall on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m.
“The Subtle Bodies,” which was released in May 2014 to high praise, is McCorkle’s second book of poetry. “A poet is made of idioms and of their intimate, eventually public transgressions. This then is the true subtlety of James McCorkle’s beautiful collection ‘The Subtle Bodies.’ Idiom pauses, tenderly, at the threshold of a season, a canvas, a confession, and then, with undiminished tenderness, it ventures forth into the glare. The event is poetry,” says American Poet Don Revell.
McCorkle’s first book of poetry, “Evidences,” was published in 2003 and is the winner is of the sixth annual American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize. McCorkle is also the author of “The Still Performance (a study of post-modern American Poetry),” the editor of “Conversant Essays: Contemporary Poets on Poetry,” and most recently with Jeff Gray and Mary McAleer Balkun, “Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry.”
McCorkle has traveled across the country and around the world to present his work. Most recently he presented his paper, “Narrating Memory: Rayda Jacobs Yvette Christiansë and Andre Brink,” this past spring at the 40th Annual Conference of the African Literature Association (ALA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. He’s presented at the ALA’s Annual Conference for the past several years, as well as for dozens of other conferences and events like the Annual Modern Language Association Convention, the Polish Consulate in N.Y., and for dozens of HWS and Geneva events.
For his distinguished work, he has received numerous accolades and recognition. He has received Sarah Lawrence’s Campbell Corner Poetry Award and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the National Foundation for the Arts. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Boulevard, Crazyhorse, Conduit, Fence, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares and Web-Conjunctions, and he has published and presented on a wide range of writers, including John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Kamau Brathwaite, J.M. Coetzee, C.S. Giscombe, Zakes Mda, NourbeSe Phillip, Phillis Wheatley and Charles Wright.
McCorkle earned his M.F.A. and Ph.D. At the University of Iowa and teaches in the Africana Studies and First Year Seminar Programs at HWS.