Poet, novelist Wheeler on campus

Poet and author Susan Wheeler, the visiting Fannie Hurst Professor of Creative Literature in the Writing Program in Arts & Sciences, will read from her work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.

In addition, Wheeler will speak on the craft of poetry at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Wheeler is the author of four poetry collections: “Bag ‘o’ Diamonds” (1993), “Smokes” (1998), “Source Codes” (2001) and “Ledger” (2005). Her work has appeared in eight editions of “Best American Poetry” as well as in such journals as The Paris Review, New American Writing, Talisman and The New Yorker.

Wheeler’s most recent work is the novel “Record Palace” (2005), which tells the story of Cindy, a California transplant studying art history in Chicago. The daughter of a clarinetist, Cindy finds herself spending long hours in the Record Palace, a dark and dingy store with a fully stocked jazz section, and with its majestically jaded owner, Acie Stevenson. Yet their friendship is soon complicated by Cindy’s involvement with Acie’s son and by the emergence of a particularly risky family enterprise.

Toni Morrison praises “Record Palace” as “an astonishment,” adding that, “Susan Wheeler’s deft touch and flawless ear have produced an irresistible work, both fresh and sage.” E.L. Doctorow calls the book, “dialogic, atmospheric, a situation plumbed rather than a plot unfolded — a Chicago noir this is and it casts its spell.”

“Bag ‘o’ Diamonds” received the 1993 Norma Farber First Book Award of the Poetry Society of America and was short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. “Smokes” won the Four Way Books Award. Other honors include the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Wheeler grew up in Minnesota and New England and has lived in the New York area for 20 years. Currently on the creative writing faculties of Princeton University and the New School’s graduate program, she also has taught at the University of Iowa, New York University, Rutgers University and Columbia University.

Both talks, which are a part of The Writing Program’s fall Reading Series, are free, open to the public and will take place in Duncker Hall, Room 201, Hurst Lounge.

For more information, call 935-7130.