February brings poetry to the Tulane campus

January 30, 2014 8:45 AM

Carol Schlueter

Poet Brenda Marie Osbey

New Orleanian and Poet Laureate Emerita of Louisiana Brenda Marie Osbey will appear at Tulane on Feb. 4. (Photos from the Tulane University English Department)

Poetry will be in the air on the Tulane University uptown campus in the coming weeks as the English Department sponsors visits, interviews and readings by two poets, including Poet Laureate Emerita of Louisiana Brenda Marie Osbey.

Osbey will present the inaugural reading of the Ian Gallagher Zelazny Writers Series on Tuesday (Feb. 4) at 7:30 p.m. in the Freeman Auditorium of the Woldenberg Art Center. A reception will follow in the Faculty Lounge of Newcomb Hall.

Then, on Feb. 13, Iranian-American poet Roger Sedarat will be featured, also at 7:30 p.m. in Freeman Auditorium. Sedarat’s appearance is co-sponsored by the English Department and the Poetry Society of America. A reception in Woldenberg Way, also in the Woldenberg Art Center, will follow the event.

The appearances by both poets are open to the public, free of charge.

Tulane English professor Peter Cooley says the Zelazny Writers Series was established by the family of the late Ian Gallagher Zelazny, who attended Tulane and had a creative writing emphasis in his studies.

Poet Roger Sedarat

On Feb. 13, Iranian-American poet Roger Sedarat will read from his works.

“I chose Brenda (Osbey) to start this series because her work is so germane to New Orleans,” Cooley says. “She is such a poet of the community.”

Osbey, a native New Orleanian who won the American Book Award in 1998, currently is a distinguished visiting professor of African studies at Brown University in Providence, R.I. Her most recent volume is History and Other Poems.

Sedarat is the author of Ghazal Games and Letters to the Islamic Republic. Cooley says Sedarat’s visit to Tulane is part of a new salon series by the Poetry Society of America, which is based in New York City.

The event includes an interview with the poet, followed by a reading. 

Similar salons are held at a number of universities, so this alliance “gives us national publicity, and puts us on the map,” Cooley says.

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