New Jersey Stage

Monday, November 11, 2013


(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- The 2013-2014 Visiting Writers Series continues with a reading by award-winning author Anna Journey on Thursday, November 14 at 4:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium on Monmouth University's campus. Anna Journey is the author of the poetry collections Vulgar Remedies (Louisiana State University Press, 2013) and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (University of Georgia Press, 2009), which was selected by Thomas Lux for the National Poetry Series.

Journey holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston, as well as a B.F.A. in Art Education and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. Having spent the first seven years of her life in South Asiafive in Dhaka, Bangladesh and two in New Delhi, Indiashe came to the United States, in the late 1980s, and settled in Fairfax, Virginia. At eighteen, she moved to Richmond, Virginia, where she resided for eight years, studying ceramics as an undergraduate student and poetry as a graduate student, at VCU. Before moving to California, she studied for three and a half years in Houston, Texas, while completing her doctoral studies.

Laurel Maury of The Los Angeles Times describes Journey's first book of poems, If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting, as "a deeply American debut that deals with the author's Southern childhood and adolescence as a pretty, redheaded girl from the bayouit's lush with Romanticism." However, Maury goes on to say Journey doesn't fall into the trap of quaintness." In a voice uniquely her own Publishers Weekly notes, "Journey's special topicsextended family, animals, insomnia, folklore, rendered in animated contemporary dictionmake her verse no dead ringer for anyone else's."

Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry, FIELD, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. Her creative nonfiction appears or is forthcoming in At Length, Better, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. She's received fellowships in poetry from Yaddo and the National Endowment for the Arts. She currently lives in Venice, California, with her husband, poet David St. John, and teaches creative writing in Pacific University's low residency M.F.A. program.

Monmouth University's Center for the Arts Visiting Writers Series brings the most celebrated poets and authors from around the world (Andrei Codrescu, Colm Tibn, Adam Zagajewski,) and our own back yard (Long Branch's own US Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky) to the beautiful auditorium of the University's centerpiece, historic Wilson Hall. With our Visiting Writers Series, we hope the audience will experience a renewed sense of their relationship to poetry and fiction, to language, and to be moved emotionally by that writer's representation of what it means to be a human being, whether that experience is one of joy, celebration, longing, or sorrow.