In an ode to the first weekend of spring, the Arts Center of the Capital Region will host an event titled “A Poetic Spring: Five Upstate Artists Read From Their Work.” Shira Dentz, lecturer in the creative writing program in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS), will participate. The reading will take place on Sunday, March 22, beginning at 2 p.m.

Dentz is the author of two books: black seeds on a white dish and door of thin skins (CavanKerry), as well as Leaf Weather (Shearsman), and Sisyphusina (forthcoming, Red Glass Books).

Shira Dentz

Shira Dentz

“My interest in language itself as a series of shapes is reflected in my experimentation with form,” Dentz said. “For instance, door of thin skins attempts to deconstruct the nature of psychological power through the deconstruction of language and traditional narrative. In black seeds on a white dish, shapes themselves, including punctuation, become a language.”

Dentz says that her passion for writing, literature, and interdisciplinary inquiry inform her teaching. Her areas of specialty are creative writing, 20th and 21st century American literature, European and American Modernism, and an interdisciplinary focus on the relation between word and image. Dentz’s background as a visual artist influences her approach to form. Her writing students read and experiment with hybrid writing (poetic and narrative) and visual writing, and she encourages fluidity between genres and artistic mediums. Her current work-in-progress is a hybrid of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction centered on female aging.

Dentz’s books have been favorably reviewed in many venues including American Book Review and Rain Taxi, and her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, New American Writing, et al, and also has been featured in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, NPR, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. Her awards include an Academy of American Poets’ Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem and Cecil Hemley Memorial Awards, Electronic Poetry Review’s Discovery Award, and Painted Bride Quarterly’s Poetry Prize.

Dentz is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She received her doctorate in creative writing and literature from the University of Utah, and currently serves as the editor for the Drunken Boat’s Reviews.

Other participating poets include: Celia Bland, Matthew Klane, Daniel Nester, and Gretchen Primack.

More information about Poetic Spring: Five Upstate Artists Read From Their Work.