Northern Michigan University's Visiting Writers Series will host poets Christina Olson and Matthew Minicucci from 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Northern Center Peninsula II. The event will showcase Olson's “The Anxiety Workbook: Poems” and Minicucci's scheduled October release, “Dual.” It is free and open to the public.
Olson is an associate professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University. Her latest book, “The Anxiety Workbook,” is part of the 2023 Pitt Poetry Series. The full-length manuscript explores contemporary anxiety, grief in its multitude of forms, and complicated familial dynamics via the lens of science and history while utilizing the language of therapy. Her poems grapple with the ever-evolving collective and individual trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic and also seek answers and lessons from the natural world. The termination of a pregnancy, a distant father, the untimely death of a friend, and society's obsession with Dateline and missing white girls are some of the topics addressed in poems ranging from the hyper-narrative to the highly lyrical, rich in voice and description.
Olson's previous works include her chapbook, “The Last Mastodon,” which won the Rattle 2019 Chapbook Contest. Other work appears in “The Atlantic,” “The Missouri Review,” “The Nation,” “Scientific American,” “Virginia Quarterly Review” and “The Best Creative Nonfiction.”
Minicucci is an associate professor of the Blount Scholars Program at the University of Alabama and an award-winning author of four poetry collections. His latest work, “Dual,” examines masculinity and gun violence as he brings to life the grammatical concept of the dual, a number that is neither singular nor plural, now lost in English but present in other languages both extant and ancient.
Minicucci's work has garnered numerous awards, including the Stafford/Hall Oregon Book Award and the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, along with fellowships from organizations including the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Dartmouth College, the National Parks Service and the James Merrill House. His poetry and essays have appeared in journals including “American Poetry Review,” “The Believer,” “The Kenyon Review,” “Ploughshares,” “POETRY” and “The Southern Review.”