University of New Orleans hosts poet Katherine Soniat

Poet Katherine Soniat will read from her new collection of poetry, A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge, at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the University of New Orleans Sandbar (inside The Cove, on Founders Avenue, directly across from the Education Building). Soniat is a contributor to the current issue of Bayou Magazine, which is published by the UNO English Department.

Soniat is a native New Orleanian and former professor at UNO. She currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina, in a ravine with a mother bear and her two cubs. She is an instructor in the Great Smokies Writers Program at the University of North Carolina. Soniat’s collection The Swing Girl was selected as Best Collection of 2011 by the Poetry Commission of North Carolina. Her collection A Shared Life won the Iowa Poetry Prize, given by the University of Iowa Press, and a Virginia Prize for Poetry selected by Mary Oliver.

Poet Scott Owens describes Soniat as:

… a world traveler, visiting such places as Crete, the Andes, and the Bavarian Alps. Such peripatetic history plays a vital role in Soniat’s poetic work, as settings often seem central to her poems. Soniat, however, cannot have been the typical casual traveler one might call a tourist. Rather it seems she must successfully immerse herself in the culture and history of the places she goes, for her poems often uniquely express the personal through the complex intricacies of setting and vice versa. It is almost as if her own identity becomes interwoven with that of her surroundings such that in writing about one, she inevitably reveals the other.

Soniat will also read later in the evening on Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.