Local author and instructor at the Colleges earns high praise for his new book of poetry
(July 25, 2003) Geneva, N.Y. – James McCorkle took the call himself when famed poet Jorie Graham, author of numerous books of poetry, called his home. She was calling to tell him that his new book of poetry, “Evidences,” had been her selection for the American Poetry Association’s prestigious Honickman First Book Prize. The award announcement was in the March/April issue of the “American Poetry Review” and McCorkle will travel to Philadelphia in September to receive the award.
“It was certainly a thrill to be selected for the award,” said McCorkle, “and such an honor to receive the call from such a prominent figure in the world of poetry as Jorie Graham.” Graham also wrote an introduction for the book.
Amazon.com offers the following review of “Evidences”: In poems that are by turns lyrical, disjunctive, autobiographical, and political, “Evidences” sifts through residues of landscape and history. The physicality of the language and the invocation of the world of places and things form a meditative process, surveying the conditions of perception and memory, history and grace.
McCorkle is already well published, with numerous essays and reviews of poetry and fiction to his credit. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ingram Merrill Foundation, as well as receiving the first Campbell Corner Poetry Prize. He is the editor of “Conversant Essays: Contemporary Poets on Poetry,” and the author of a study of postmodern American poetry titled “The Still Performance.”
McCorkle recently completed collaboration on a new book with famed international painter Wlodzimierz Ksiazek. Mc Corkle wrote the long poem to accompany the paintings of Ksiazek for an arts book, titled “In Winter, Writing on the State of the Child, and” for the Venice Art Biennial. The book is one of approximately 50 books that are part of the Wandering Library Project.
When McCorkle learned that his book was to be published, he was already involved with his daughter Katherine’s third grade class, reading poetry and myths on a regular basis and helping them learn to write poetry. The publishing of his book prompted Mc Corkle to include those students in the process of book publishing as well. The third-grade teacher, Midge Burns, was pleased, reporting that the students were all “poets at heart.”
McCorkle received the M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He will teach the first-year seminar “Africa: Myth and Reality” this fall at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and has taught other courses there in the past. He and his wife, Cynthia Williams, professor of dance at the Colleges, live in Geneva with their two daughters.
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Jacket cover photo: http://campus.hws.edu/new/releases/hiRes/mccorkle_evidencescvr_hres.jpg