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Lesley Wheeler Presents Fox Professorship Inaugural Lecture

Lesley M. Wheeler, professor of English at Washington and Lee University, will give the Henry S. Fox Jr. Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library. Wheeler was named to the professorship at the beginning of this past summer.

Wheeler’s illustrated talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Coffee with Poets in New Zealand.”

Wheeler’s talk is on the process of conducting research into contemporary writing and is closely based on her recent Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand (January-July 2011). Wheeler will also read a short selection of poems composed during that period.

Wheeler said that her talk “concerns the networks joining poets with each other and with their audiences; of particular interest is how poets affiliate in ways that transcend national borders. My focus was the International Institute for Modern Letters at Victoria University, unique in its relationship with a prestigious U.S. creative writing program, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.”

Wheeler joined W&L’s faculty in 1994. She is the author of four poetry books including Heterotopia (2010), winner of the 2010 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and a finalist for a Library of Virginia Book Award, and Heathen (2009). Her scholarly books include Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920s to the Present (2008). She is the author of more than 15 essays and book chapters and has had over 65 poems published in journals with five forthcoming.

Wheeler has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation, and The Virginia Commission for the Arts among other grantors.

Wheeler is currently at work on a poetry book, Signal to Noise and a scholarly book, Poetry, Conversation, Community in the Twenty-First Century, a study of the networks sustaining contemporary poetry. She teaches courses in 20th- and 21st-century poetry and creative writing workshops at W&L.

Wheeler is a graduate of Rutgers University (B.A.) and Princeton University (Ph.D.).

The Henry S. Fox Jr. Professorship was established in 1956 under the will of Mrs. Mamie Fox Twyman Martel of Houston in memory of her brother, Henry S. Fox Jr., Class of 1894. Severn P. C. Duvall, who retired from teaching in 1995 and Edwin D. Craun, who retired in 2011, are the Henry S. Fox Jr. Professors of English, Emeriti.

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Julie Cline
News Writer

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