Award-winning writer Camille Dungy visits campus

Mallory Martin

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On Thursday, Feb. 7, acclaimed author Camille T. Dungy will be visiting Kimball Auditorium in the fourth installment of this year’s Visiting Writers Series.

“It is a tremendous event that the campus offers and absolutely invaluable to students of creative writing,” said junior English major Katie Haaheim. “The chance to interact directly with poets and other writers is an incredible opportunity for us. Any student interested in the study of English should go, without question. Otherwise, the readings are open and accessible to anyone curious.”

Dungy is a poet, author, essayist and professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University. She is the author of three books, “Smith Blue,” “Suck on the Marrow” and “What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison,” as well as the editor of several poetry anthologies.

“Camille Dungy is a wonderful poet,” said Haaheim. “I have only recently started with one of her books, but she has a great array of stylistic choices that makes her poetry highly engaging. I am very excited to hear her read.”

For her part, Dungy says she looks forward to visiting Whitman College, and hopes to impart her love of poetry to those attending her lecture.

“I hope that at least one person who doesn’t think s/he likes poetry will come away thinking that maybe s/he does,” Dungy said in an email. “There are so many types of poetry out there. Saying you don’t like poetry is like saying you don’t like apples. I bet if you just found the right one, prepared the right way, you could love apples too.”

Dungy is a recipient of numerous accolades, such as the Northern California Book Award, a Silver Medal for the California Book Award, a position as a finalist for the Balcones Prize and two consecutive nominations for the NAACP Image Award. She encourages all students to follow their passion, acknowledging it took her down the right path.

“I decided I would build my life around what I loved, which happened to be poetry. I built my life around what I loved and figured I’d see what happened. As it turned out, good things happened.”

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