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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Oct. 6, 2017

Writer’s series to host award-winning author Rebecca Gayle Howell

Rebecca Gayle Howell is the author of “American Purgatory.”

Rebecca Gayle Howell is the author of “American Purgatory.”

Rebecca Gayle Howell is the author of “American Purgatory.”

Northwest Missouri State University’s Department of Language, Literature and Writing will host author Rebecca Gayle Howell during its next installment of the 2017-18 Visiting Writers Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Living Room.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a reading and question-answer session. Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation, Green Tower Press, and the Department of Language, Literature, and Writing are sponsors of the series.

Howell is the author of “American Purgatory,” which was selected by Don Share for the 2016 Sexton Prize. Her debut collection, “Render /An Apocalypse,” was a finalist for Foreword Review’s 2014 Book of the Year and received wide critical acclaim, most notably by the Los Angeles Times’ David L. Ulin, who called the collection “remarkable.”

Howell also is the translator of Amal al-Jubouri's verse memoir of the Iraq War, “Hagar Before the Occupation/Hagar After the Occupation,” which was named a 2011 Best Book of Poetry by Library Journal and was shortlisted for Three Percent's Best Translated Book Award.

Among Howell’s honors are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Kentucky Arts Council and the Carson McCullers Center as well as a Pushcart Prize. She also has received sustaining support from the Kentucky Foundation for Women throughout her career.

Since 2014, she has edited poetry for the Oxford American, publishing a new profile of Southern poetics, including writers such as Nikki Giovanni, Tyehimba Jess and Fady Joudah, and featuring the release of Nikky Finney's epic, “The Battle Of and For The Black Face Boy.”

Howell lives in Knott County, Kentucky, where she serves as James Still Writer-in-Residence at the Hindman Settlement School. For more information about Howell, visit

The Visiting Writers Series is designed to promote creativity, diversity, and literature as a living and meaningful art form that enriches lives and helps to build and strengthen communities. 

The remainder of the series features poets Richard Robbins on Oct. 25, E.J. Koh and Amy Meng on Feb. 8, and Peter Conners, a publisher and writer of nonfiction and poetry, on April 5.

For more information, contact Daniel Biegelson, director of the Visiting Writers Series and an instructor of English, at or 660.562.1266.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468