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Rebecca Wee to Read Poetry November 9 at WIU Art Gallery

November 1, 2004

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MACOMB, IL - - Rebecca Wee, the 2004-2005 Case Writer-in-Residence in the Western Illinois University English and Journalism department, will read selections from her poetry at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9 in the WIU Art Gallery.

Wee, a professor at Augustana College, is teaching advanced creative writing at Western while WIU professor Tama Baldwin is on sabbatical and is serving as the Fall 2004 Case Writer-in-Residence.

Wee is the author of “Uncertain Grace,” a collection of poems for which she received the 2000 Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets. Copper Canyon Press published her book in 2001, and in 2003 she was chosen by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins to receive one of two annual Witter Bynner fellowships in poetry, supported by the Library of Congress and the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry.

The poems in “Uncertain Grace” explore areas ranging from her childhood to her responses to other artists. The book’s title comes from a poem in response to a photo in a Sebastio Salgado art exhibit.

“Salgado’s photographs are spectacular works of witness and the subject matter is often harrowing -- famine victims, laborers in developing countries and the like. I’m interested in that tension: how can an artist make art -- gorgeous stunning art -- out of terrible human circumstances,” she said.

Western Illinois’ Fred Case and Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence Endowment, which began in 2002, is designed to nurture upcoming writers. Lola Case earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Western in 1942. She taught in high schools and universities in California. Her husband, a UCLA management professor and a leading authority on real estate, has authored 18 books.

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