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M.L. Smoker is WIU's Case Writer-In-Residence

March 26, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - Mandy Smoker Broaddus, a poet who writes under the pen name M.L. Smoker, is the Western Illinois University Lola Austin Case Writer-in-
Residence for Spring 2007. She will visit poetry and creative writing classes and faculty Tuesday-Thursday, April 3-5.

Smoker will also present a reading of her poetry at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5 in the WIU Art Gallery, followed by an 8 p.m. reception. The reading and reception are open free to the public.

She is a member of both the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana, where she was born.

Smoker began writing poetry in her early 20s to help her deal with her mother's death. Her first collection of poems, "Another Attempt at Rescue," was published by Hanging Loose Press in Spring 2005.

Writer/reviewer Jim Harrison said "Another Attempt" was "an impressive first book, though there is nothing here that reminds me of a first book. This is the work of an accomplished and mature poet with a rare and first-rate mind."

Smoker's poems have also appeared in Shenandoah, South Dakota Review and Many Mountains Moving; and they have been translated for Acoma, an Italian literacy journal published by the University of Rome. She also has a short story published in Hozho – Walking in Beauty: Native American Stories on Inspiration, Humor and Life (McGraw-Hill), edited by Paula Gunn Allen; and her work is forthcoming in several anthologies.

Smoker earned her MFA from the University of Montana, where she received the college's creative writing Richard Hugo Fellowship. She is also a graduate of Pepperdine University, and attended UCLA and the University of Colorado, where she was a Battrick Fellow in poetry.

Western Illinois' Fred Ewing and Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence Endowment is designed to nurture upcoming writers by providing learning for a lifetime through extended residencies for visiting writers and greater opportunities for more interaction between students and established writers.

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