American Poet a Visiting Ballen Scholar at Highlands


Diane Seuss

Las Vegas, N.M – An internationally known American poet will share her craft with New Mexico Highlands University and the community beginning Oct. 24.

Diane Seuss, winner of the prestigious Juniper Prize for Poetry and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, is at Highlands thanks to the Ballen Visiting Scholar Program.

According to the 2015 Pulitzer Prize citation, Seuss’ poetry book, Four-Legged Girl, is “a richly improvisational poetry collection that leads readers through a gallery of incisive and beguiling portraits and landscapes.”

Free public events for Seuss include:

Craft Talk and Writing Activity – Oct. 27 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. in the university’s Student Center, Room 322, 800 National Ave.

Traveling Poet in the Community – Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Traveler’s Café, 1814 Plaza St., Historic Las Vegas Plaza.

Poetry and Nonfiction Reading – Nov. 2. from 6 – 8 p.m. in the university’s Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave.

Tyler Mills and Lauren Fath, Department of English assistant professors at Highlands, wrote the Ballen Scholar proposal to bring Seuss to campus.

“Diane Seuss visited my graduate poetry work shop over Skype last year when they studied Four-Legged Girl,” Mills said. “They loved talking with her. She inspired my students as poets and visual thinkers.”

Fath said: “I’m especially excited to have Diane Seuss visit because I’m teaching the advanced creative nonfiction workshop this fall. Several of my students are working on hybrid writing forms that combine poetry and prose, which is what Diane’s nonfiction does.”

Seuss is the writer-in-residence at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, where she has served on the faculty since 1988. She was the MacLean Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of English at Colorado College in 2012.

During her two weeks at Highlands, Seuss will be a guest in classes in the Department of English on topics such as British literature, creative writing, poetry and lyrics, and more. She will also meet one-on-one with poetry and nonfiction students to critique their work.

In other disciplines, Seuss will interact with Highlands University students in fine arts, history, and biology.

Her other poetry books include Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open from University of Massachusetts Press in 2011 and It Blows Your Hollow from New Issues Press in 1998.

Seuss is also known for her nonfiction work published in literary journals such as Brevity and Creative Nonfiction.