University of Southern Indiana

Finalist for Pulitzer in Poetry Adrian Matejka to read at USI

Finalist for Pulitzer in Poetry Adrian Matejka to read at USI

4/15/2014 | University Communications

Adrian Matejka, a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, will offer a free public reading of his poetry at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in Kleymeyer Hall in the Liberal Arts Center at the University of Southern Indiana. The event is part of USI’s celebration of National Poetry Month.

The reading is sponsored by USI’s College of Liberal Arts and New Harmony Writers Workshop, at which Matejka will be a member of the faculty June 8-14 in New Harmony, Indiana.

In addition to the Pulitzer nomination, Matejka was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Award (which includes a $10,000 prize) and a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship.

“Adrian Matejka is the real deal: lettered, crowd-commanding, and genuine,” said Marcus Wicker, assistant professor of English and director of the New Harmony Writers Workshop. “He can write in any mode—lyric, narrative, persona, formal—you name it, he nails it. On top of that, he’s always reevaluating his teaching pedagogy from the perspective of a working writer. I’m thrilled that Evansville will be able to experience Adrian’s dynamic reading for National Poetry Month and then hear him lecture and run a workshop this June in New Harmony.”

Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and grew up in California and Indiana. A graduate of Indiana University and the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, his first collection of poems, The Devil’s Garden, won the 2002 New York/New England Award from Alice James Books.

His second collection, Mixology, was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series and was published by Penguin Books in 2009. Mixology was subsequently nominated for an NAACP Image Award. The Big Smoke, published by Penguin in May 2013, was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award.

Matejka is the recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and fellowships from Cave Canem and the Lannan Foundation. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry 2010, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner, among other journals and anthologies.

He teaches creative writing at Indiana University in Bloomington.

For more information about New Harmony Writers Workshop, go to

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