Shara McCallum, Penn State Laureate for 2021-22, will visit Penn State York on Wednesday, Oct. 13 to read from her works and share the works of other Pennsylvania poets. The event takes place at 12:15 p.m. in the Precision Custom Components Community Room and is free and open to the public. Registration is requested.
To register for the event, contact Jennifer Nesbitt, associate professor of English at Penn State York, who coordinated McCallum’s visit to campus.
Originally from Jamaica, McCallum is a poet who has authored six books and has had poems and essays published in journals, anthologies, and textbooks throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and Israel. Her latest poetry collection, “No Ruined Stone,” released in summer 2021, is a verse sequence based on an alternate account of history and Scottish poet Robert Burns’ near-migration to Jamaica to work on a slave plantation.
McCallum’s poems have been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, Romanian, Dutch and Turkish and have been set to music by composers Marta Gentilucci and Gity Razaz. She has received numerous awards, including the silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica. The award, similar to the United States’ Presidential Medal of Freedom, honors Jamaican individuals for demonstrated excellence in their respective fields of literature, arts, and science. Established in 1889, it is the oldest award of its kind to be awarded in the Western Hemisphere.
She is also an Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Penn State and is eager to showcase the importance of poetry not just as an art form, but in capturing and shaping history as well.
The Penn State Laureate is an honor bestowed to one full-time faculty member each year to bring greater visibility to the arts and humanities, to Penn State, and to the faculty member’s work. During her tenure, McCallum will conduct writing workshops and make numerous speaking engagements throughout Pennsylvania and elsewhere. She also will showcase the works of other Pennsylvania poets throughout her tenure during “Poetry Moment,” a weekly segment that airs Mondays on WPSU Radio and is available for downloading on the station’s website.
Additional information, as well as McCallum’s complete fall schedule, can be found on the Penn State Laureate webpage.