WMU duo to kick off spring 2016 Frostic Reading Series

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—National bestselling author Bonnie Jo Campbell and luminary poet Dr. Daneen Wardrop will headline the first installment of the spring 2016 Frostic Reading Series at Western Michigan University.

Both accomplished authors have strong ties to WMU and will speak at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in 157-159 Bernhard Center. Their combined reading is free and open to the public.

Bonnie jo campbell

Photo of Bonnie Jo Campbell.


Campbell earned two WMU degrees, with plans of becoming a math teacher. A professor encouraged her to take a writing class, and Campbell went on to earn a third degree in creative writing and author a number of critically acclaimed novels and collections of short stories.

Her best-known novel, "Once Upon a River," was a national best seller and drew comparisons to the likes of James Fennimore Cooper, Mark Twain and Henry David Thoreau. Her other five books of fiction include her latest, "Mothers, Tell Your Daughters," "American Salvage," "Q Road" and "Women and Other Animals."

Campbell has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Eudora Welty Prize and the AWP Award for Short Fiction. She also was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

daneen wardrop

Photo of Daneen Wardrop.


Wardrop, a WMU professor of English, has served on the faculty since 1990. She was named the 2013 Distinguished Faculty Scholar, the University's highest award for a faculty member. Wardrop also holds two master's degrees from WMU, as well as a doctoral degree from the University of Virginia.

Wardrop has paired the twin pillars of research and creative writing throughout her career, believing that the process of writing poetry is inextricable from the process of writing academic prose, as each refreshes and reinforces the other. Much of her early research centered on the renowned Amherst, Massachusetts, poet Emily Dickinson, who is the subject of two of Wardrop's books. A third brought Dickinson together with two other major 19th century literary figures—Poe and Whitman.

She is the author of three poetry books, "The Odds of Being," "Cyclorama" and "Life as It." She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the Poetry Society of America Robert H. Winner Award. Her poems have appeared in 60 different publications, including The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, AGNI and many more.

upcoming readings

Other upcoming readings presented as part of the spring 2016 Frostic Reading Series include:

  • Feb. 5: Theatre Kalamazoo/New Play Fest, featuring Adam Szymkowicz, 7 p.m., The Epic Center.
  • Feb. 18: Claire Vaye Watkins, 7 p.m., 157-159 Bernhard Center.
  • March 24: New Issues Poetry and Prose Reading, featuring Adam LeFevre and Judy Halebsky, 8 p.m., 157-159 Bernhard Center.
  • April 14: Gerald Stern and Anne Marie Macari, 8 p.m., 157-159 Bernhard Center.
  • April 22: MFA/Ph. D. festival, 7 p.m., 157-159 Bernhard Center.

For more information, visit wmich.edu/english/events/frostic.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.