MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Shara McCallum, liberal arts professor of English in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts and 2021-22 Penn State Laureate, will visit Penn State Harrisburg at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, in the Madlyn Levine Hanes Library Morrison Gallery. McCallum will share her poems and those of other Pennsylvania poets to showcase the importance of poetry not just as an art form, but in capturing and shaping history as well.
“Poetry is a living art that brings forth the human voice, both in written and oral fashion. This is something I hope to bring attention to,” she said. “It’s also important to me that the inflection of history — which is a force in my own writing — become part of what people understand poetry to be engaged by. Not just history broadly understood — the history of place, the history of people that have come through those places, and the history of the natural world and the environment — but also the histories we each carry within us.”
McCallum is a poet who has authored six books and has had poems and essays published in journals, anthologies and textbooks throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Israel. Her latest poetry collection, “No Ruined Stone," is a verse sequence based on an alternate account of history and Scottish poet Robert Burns’ near-migration to Jamaica to work on a slave plantation.
McCallum’s poems have been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, Romanian, Dutch and Turkish and have been set to music by composers Marta Gentilucci and Gity Razaz. An anthology of poems selected from her six books, titled “La historia es un cuarto/History is a Room,” was translated into Spanish by Adalber Salas Hernández and will be published later this year by Mantis Editores in Mexico.
An annual faculty honor established in 2008, the Penn State Laureate is a full-time faculty member in the arts or humanities who is assigned half time for one academic year to bring greater visibility to the arts, humanities and the University, as well as to their own work. In this role, the laureate is a highly visible representative of the University, appearing at events and speaking engagements throughout the commonwealth.
For information about the event, contact Taneile Fasnacht at [email protected].