Susan Wheeler to speak for Writing Program Reading Series Oct. 25 and 30

Poet and author Susan Wheeler, the visiting Fannie Hurst Professor of Creative Literature in Washington University’s 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.

Both talks — part of The Writing Program’s fall Reading Series — are free and open to the public and take place in Hurst Lounge, Room 201, Duncker Hall, on the university’s Danforth Campus. Duncker Hall is located at the northwest corner of Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives. For more information, call (314) 935-7130.

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 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 Place, a dark and dingy store with a fully stocked jazz section, and 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 has also taught at the University of Iowa, New York University, Rutgers University and Columbia University.

Calendar Summary

WHO: Poet and author Susan Wheeler

WHAT: Two events

WHEN: Reading from her work: 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25; Talk on the craft of poetry: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30

WHERE: Hurst Lounge, Room 201, Duncker Hall

COST: Free

INFORMATION: (314) 935-7130 or