October 26, 2010
Renowned Oklahoma poet Sandra Soli will present a poetry reading at OBU Tuesday, Nov. 9, in the Geiger Center, room 212, at 6 p.m. The community is invited to attend the reading which will include poems from “What Trees Know,” winner of the 2008 Oklahoma Book Award, and “Silvering the Flute,” a finalist for the same award in 1995. Soli will also read from her new manuscript in progress.
Soli was born in Birmingham, England, and came to Oklahoma shortly after World War II. She grew up in Bartlesville, Okla., and attended the Oklahoma College for Women. She also attended the University of Central Oklahoma, where she obtained her master’s degree in English.
In addition to her Oklahoma Book Award in 2008, Soli won the Marilyn Harris Outstanding Undergraduate Writing Award from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1991. She has been named Author of the Month for Highlights Magazine for Children and has won the Eyster Poetry Prize from Louisiana State University. Soli was nominated once for the Associated Writing Programs Intro Award and nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been featured on National Public Radio.
Soli spent almost a decade in Oklahoma’s Artist-in-Residence program, where she taught more than 5,000 writers of all ages. She has directed, choreographed or acted in numerous productions in the United States and Germany. She spent nine years as a poetry editor and columnist for ByLine magazine and is a frequent speaker and lecturer at universities and conferences. She remains active through volunteering for book drives and the Poetry against Hunger program, which features poetry readings to benefit Skyline Food Pantry.
Soli’s first poem to appear in print was in 1960, so her love of poetry spans more than 50 years. Her passion is poetry, and she fully believes that “any reason for writing poems is a good reason.”
The poetry reading is one of three hosted by OBU’s Department of English this academic year. Dr. Benjamin Myers, associate professor of English at OBU, read from his book, “Elegy for Trains,” on Sept. 23. Dr. Abigail Keegan, professor of English at Oklahoma City University, will read from her latest book, “Depending on the Weather,” on Feb. 10, 2011.