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October 28, 2003

POET/ESSAYIST TO SPEAK AT VITERBO UNIVERSITY NOV. 4

LA CROSSE, Wis.—Winona State University faculty member and poet and essayist Ken McCullough will visit the Viterbo University campus on Tuesday, Nov. 4, to share his craft with students and the public.

McCullough is author of the recently published collection of his work, Obsidian Point, which is a multi-genre volume with poems alongside a piece of creative non-fiction. The book chronicles a 16-year spiritual quest through in travels through the West. Poet Ed Folsom has said, Obsidian Point is "a descent through layers of American history to touch...the savage mystery this culture has been intent on forgetting, denying."

In the book, McCullough’s poetry is presented in first-person narratives, set in the outdoors, and concerned with materiality and spirituality in the environment. Well-accomplished, McCullough has received an Academy of American Poets award and honorary tribal membership in the Minconjou band of Lakota. He is a friend to Cambodian poet U Sam Oeur, who has also read his work at Viterbo and was last on campus in 2000. The two met while they were participating in the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. McCullough helped Oeur secure immigration to the U.S. and often has served as his translator.

McCullough will hold an afternoon craft talk at 4 p.m. in Murphy Center 230 and an evening poetry reading at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall. Copies of Obsidian Point will be available and can be signed at a reception following the evening presentation.

The events are free and open to the public.

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