The Wells College Visiting Writers Series is pleased to welcome poet Bret Shepard, winner of the 2018 Wells College Press Chapbook Contest, to campus for the launch of his new collection, "Negative Compass," at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23. The reading will take place in the Art Exhibit Room on the third floor of Macmillan Hall. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Shepard will also conduct a master class, "On Great Titles," on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 12:30 p.m. in Main Building's Faculty Parlors. This event is also free and open to the public.
Contest judge Dan Rosenberg praised the poems of "Negative Compass" as "taut, rich, surprisingly clear and riddled with wisdom—or a longing for it." Shepard's works have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Arts and Letters, Diagram, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Whiskey Island, Crazyhorse and elsewhere.
Bret Shepard, who completed his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska, currently lives in Tacoma, Wash. and teaches at Green River College. He is co-editor at Dikembe Press, a publisher of poetry chapbooks. He previously taught at the University of Idaho, where he was the director of the creative writing program.
This year also marks the inaugural Bennett Prize, given to a single outstanding poem from among the finalist manuscripts of the Chapbook Contest. The winner is "Praise the Bird" by Kim Lozano, and the broadside of that poem will be launched alongside Shepard's chapbook at the Oct. 23 reading. This prize is named in honor of Bruce Bennett, professor emeritus of English and former director of the Book Arts Center at Wells College.
The Visiting Writers series at Wells College presents several events each semester featuring authors who have distinguished themselves in poetry, fiction or nonfiction. These writers not only give public readings of their work—they also conduct writing workshops, participate in classes and discussions, and often hold individual conferences with interested student writers. The Visiting Writers Series is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. See more at wells.edu/visiting-writers.