Award-winning poet to speak at Mount Mercy University

Award-winning poet Jennifer Perrine will visit Mount Mercy University Thursday, April 6, as part of the Visiting Writers Series.

Perrine is the author of “No Confession, No Mass,” winner of the 2016 Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Award and the 2014 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Her previous books include “In the Human Zoo,” recipient of the 2010 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize, and “The Body Is No Machine,” winner of the 2008 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry.

“Perrine is an inventive and accessible poet; her work makes me feel creative and alive,” said Mary Vermillion, MMU professor of English and organizer of the Visiting Writers Series. “It will be inspiring to hear this successful young poet read her work aloud. And it's always interesting to hear a published author discuss the challenges and joys of writing.”

Perrine is also an accomplished English educator, spending more than a decade teaching at Drake University in Des Moines. In that time, she taught courses on poetry, fiction, graphic narrative, science fiction, horror writing, translation, creative collaboration, representations of sexuality, women’s studies, queer theories, transgender studies and Holocaust literature.

“Her stunning poems explore two of the Mercy Critical Concerns: non-violence and women issues. Her poems also explore LGBTQ issues, religion and health,” Vermillion said. “There's something for everyone!”

Perrine will hold two sessions during her April 6 visit. She will conduct a Q&A session at 3:30 p.m. in the Flaherty Community Room (204 Basile Hall), followed by a reading of her work at 7 p.m., also in Flaherty. Both events are free and open to the public; seating may be limited.

Questions can be sent to Mary Vermillion at

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