ATHENS, W.Va. – Anita Skeen will read her poetry and talk about her experiences of growing up in West Virginia on April 13 at 4:30 p.m. in the Pais Fellowship Hall (lower level of University Point). This event is the first in the Dr. Paul J. Kane Memorial Lecture Series.  

            Anita Skeen has published six books of poetry and is Professor Emerita in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. Much of her writing reflects her background as a West Virginian. She strongly believes in the value of the humanities in one’s education. She has taught classes on Appalachian Literature, and in her founding of a center for poetry at MSU, worked to create programming that brought the university and community together. 

            “This is the first in what will be a continued series of speakers funded by the Dr. Paul J. Kane Memorial Lecture Series. Dr. Kane was an Emeritus Professor of English at Concord, specializing in Medieval and Renaissance literature, and an ordained Lutheran minister. This series is meant to bring to Concord speakers who will discuss topics related to literature, the humanities, education, and/or faith,” said Dr. Michelle Gompf, professor of English and chair of the Department of Humanities.  

            Skeen, who graduated from Concord in 1968 and was inspired by professors to continue with her education and writing, began her teaching career at Bowling Green University where she received an MA in English Literature in 1970 and an MFA in Creative Writing in 1971, then went on to teach in the MFA Program at Wichita State University where she was a recipient of the Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching. She moved to Michigan State in 1990 and joined the department of English at MSU. She has taught in the MSU Study Abroad Program in England and Ireland and has served as a Visiting Writer and Writer-in Residence in numerous venues. She was the Coordinator of the Creative Arts Program at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico for 42 years, and the Fall Writing Festival for 24 years.  

She is the author of six volumes of poetry: Each Hand A Map (1986); Portraits (1990); Outside the Fold, Outside the Frame (1999); The Resurrection of the Animals (2002); Never the Whole Story (2011); When We Say Shelter (2007), with Oklahoma poet Jane Taylor; and The Unauthorized Audubon (2014), a collection of poems about imaginary birds accompanied by the linocuts of anthropologist/visual artist Laura B. DeLind. With Taylor, she co-edited the literary anthology Once Upon A Place: Writings from Ghost Ranch (2008). Her poetry, short fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.