Through Poetry Paths, Julia Spicher Kasdorf conducted two poetry workshops last Friday for 16 residents and staff members at Water Street Mission on South Prince Street. She also gave a reading from her recent work later that evening at the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House, with dinner catered by Upohar, a new local business serving international food prepared by resettled refugees.
Julia Spicher Kasdorf has published two collections of poetry with the University of Pittsburgh Press, and a third, Poetry in America, is forthcoming in 2012. Of the other collections, Eve’s Striptease was named one of Library Journal’s Top 20 Best Poetry Books of 1998, and Sleeping Preacher won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and the Great Lakes College’s Association Award for New Writing. Her poems have been awarded a 2009 NEA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. She also published a collection of essays, The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life, winner of the 2002 Book of the Year Award from the Conference on Christianity and Literature, and a biography, Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American. She has worked on new editions of Yoder’s 1940 local color classic Rosanna of the Amish and Fred Lewis Pattee’s The House of the Black Ring. With Michael Tyrell she co-edited the anthology, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn. An associate professor of English and women’s studies at the Pennsylvania State University, she teaches in the MFA program in creative writing.