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  • Delaney Hayden

Contemporary Writers Series brings Philip Metres

By:  Delaney Hayden, Asst. News Editor 


On Tuesday, April 16, author Philip Metres graced Canisius University with his presence for a reading as a part of the Contemporary Writers Series, coordinated by professor Mick Cocrane. The event was held at the Grupp Fireside Lounge at 7 p.m., free and open to the public, with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The event was also available on a livestream for anyone who wanted to tune in but was unable to physically attend. Following Metres’s reading, there was a Q & A session, followed by a reception.


A flier about the event shared that Metres is an accomplished poet and academic who was born in San Diego and raised near Chicago. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross — a fellow Jesuit institution — and pursued further education, earning an MFA and PhD from Indiana University. Metres has authored 12 books, including notable works such as “Sand Opera,” “Shrapnel Maps”, “Listening: Poetry as Refuge and Resistance” and his latest publication, “Fugitive/Refuge.”


Throughout his career, Metres has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to literature, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, two NEA fellowships, and three Arab-American Book Awards. Currently residing in Cleveland with his family, he serves as a professor of English and directs the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University.


Some of Metres’s poetry includes “Ashberries: Letters,” “The Ballard of Skandar” and “Before the Mirror on New Year’s Eve”.  More information and pieces from Metres’s poetry can be located at poetryfoundation.org.


Metres writes, “Always the same story: two people, one tree, not enough land or light or love.” His words tell stories and his stories leave everlasting impressions. Metres left his mark on the audience at Canisius through his words on Tuesday evening as well, providing readings of his work, advice to young writers and, overall, kindness, confidence, and attention that is not soon to be forgotten.


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