College of Arts and Sciences

Fall 2014 Case Writer: Kirstin Hotelling Zona

As part of the "Perceptions: Exploring Self and Identity through Visual Art" exhibition at the University Art Gallery, and through the generosity of the Visiting Lecture Committee, we are lucky enough to welcome poet, professor, and editor Kirstin Hotelling Zona to our campus on Wednesday, September 17th. Zona will give a craft talk based on the theme of the exhibition at 12:15 in the University Art Gallery. She will also give a poetry reading and answer questions that afternoon, in the same location, at 4:15 p.m. Kirstin Hotelling Zona’s most recent collection of poems, Drift (2011) was a semi-finalist in the Finishing Line Press Open Book Contest. Her poetry has appeared most recently in journals such as the Southwest Review (winner of the Stover Prize), the Cincinnati Review, the Georgetown Review, the Mississippi Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Columbia, and Poet Lore. Kirstin is the Editor-in Chief of SRPR (Spoon River Poetry Review), as well as the author of a book of criticism, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and May Swenson: The Feminist Poetics of Self-Restraint (Michigan UP). Kirstin has published numerous essays on contemporary poets and poetics in journals such as ISLE, Modernism/Modernity, and Twentieth Century Literature. She lives with her two children in downeast Maine and in central Illinois, where she is Co-Host of Poetry Radio on WGLT, a local NPR affiliate, and Associate Professor of English at Illinois State University. Kirstin is also a life coach, drawing upon her experiences as an educator and writer to help women realize their full creative potentials in the crafting of joyous, purposeful lives. This exhibition, according to the University Art Gallery,is "an effort to engage Western Illinois University students and the greater McDonough County community in conversations about visual art, the University Art Gallery and the Department of English and Journalism have partnered to present the annual Perceptions Project exhibition. This fall, the exhibition theme explores questions about self-perception and identity." As well, "The artwork is accompanied by personal reflections, poems, and flash fiction. These "community voices" offer viewers an opportunity to examine how personal interests and experiences have shaped their colleagues and friends' perceptions of visual art, as well as their own." For more information about this exhibition and the University Art Gallery as a whole, please visit


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