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March 29, 2024

Visiting Writers Series to feature award-winning poets in April

By Georgia McGonigle, communication assistant

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Northwest Missouri State University’s 2023-24 Visiting Writers Series concludes in April with two nights of poetry readings from three original authors.

Poet and essayist Taylor Byas will present original work at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 9. Then, poets Hadara Bar-Nadav and Kevin Prufer will read original pieces at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.

Both events in the J.W. Jones Student Union Living Room are free and open to the public and will include a question-answer session.

“In a world where true community and solidarity are in short supply, where our individual and collective attention is fractured, attending a reading can be a moment of presence,” Daniel Biegelson, senior instructor of English and director of the Visiting Writers Series, said. “It's an opportunity where we offer the gift of our attention to someone and receive the same in return.”

About Taylor Byas

Byas, an award-winning poet and essayist will read from her debut poetry collection, “I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times.” A Maya Angelou Book Award winner, the piece describes a black woman’s journey out of the South Side of Chicago and into adulthood. Byas is a features editor for The Rumpus, a poetry acquisitions editor for Variant Literature, an editorial board member for Beloit Poetry Journal, a 2023-24 National Book Critics Emerging Fellow and a poetry instructor for Frontier Poetry’s 12-week creative writing and mentorship program.

About Hadara Bar-Nadav

Bar-Nadav, a professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and poet, will read from her newest book, “The Animal is Chemical,” a collection of poems addressing the contradictions, human fallibility and moral issues with Western medication, drawing from both her own experiences as a medical editor and her family’s history of Holocaust survival. Bar-Nadav has received many awards, including the Lucille Medwick Award from the Poetry Society of America, a National Endowment from the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and a Poetry Foundation Fellowship.

About Kevin Prufer

Prufer, a professor of English at the University of Houston and the author of many poetry collections, will read from his debut novel, “Sleepaway,” an allegory for post-pandemic America that discusses society’s failure to address collective challenges. In addition to teaching and writing, Prufer directs the Unsung Masters Series, a book series that brings the work of little-known authors to new generations of readers through the annual publication. Prufer has also received awards for his original work, such as the Julie Suk Award for the best poetry book of 2018 from the American Literary Press, numerous Pushcart Prizes from Pushcart Press and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lannan Foundation.

The Visiting Writers Series is designed to enrich Northwest’s educational mission while promoting the values of community, civil discourse and self-expression. Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation, Green Tower Press and the Department of Language, Literature and Writing sponsor the series.

For more information about the Visiting Writers Series, contact Biegelson at or 660.562.1266.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215