The Piper Center commemorated the end of National Poetry Month with a bang! Jeredith Merrin, Rose Solari, and Valerie Bandura, all gave spectacular readings on April 28th at the College Avenue Commons on ASU’s campus. It was a celebratory return and reunion for the three poets since Desert Nights, Rising Stars 2015. Before the readings, they participated on a panel on humor and seriousness in poetry at the Piper House, mediated by ASU MFA graduate Kyle Bassett. The readings were followed by a reception at Pitchforks and Corks. All three poets are pillars in the Piper community. Jeredith Merrin and Valerie Bandura are both local artists. Rose Solari has been involved with the Piper Center for some time, most recently featured in the Piper Center’s “American Weekend” event at the Oxford Literary Festival.
Jeredith Merrin—brought up in the Pacific Northwest—took her MA in English (specializing in Chaucer), and a PhD from UC Berkeley in Anglo-American Poetry and Poetics. Cup, a special honoree in the 2013 Able Muse Book Award, is her third collection; her previous books are Shift and Bat Ode (University of Chicago Press Phoenix Poets series). She’s authored an influential book of criticism on Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop. Her reviews and essays (on Moore, Bishop, Clare, Mew, Amichai, and others), and poems have appeared in Paris Review, Slate, Ploughshares, Southwest Review, Yale Review and elsewhere. A retired Professor of English (The Ohio State University), she lives near Phoenix.
Rose Solari is the author of three full-length collections of poems, The Last Girl, Orpheus in the Park, and Difficult Weather, as well as the multi-media play Looking for Guenevere, an Arthurian retelling. A Secret Woman is her first novel. She has lectured and taught writing workshops at many institutions, including the University of Maryland, St. John’s College, Annapolis, the Jung Society of Washington, and The Centre for Creative Writing, Kellogg College, Oxford, England. Her work as a journalist includes positions as staff writer and editor for Common Boundary Magazineand for SportsFan Magazine, the latter of which she also helped to found. Her awards include the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, The Columbia Book Award, and an EMMA award for Excellence in journalism. She currently serves on the Advisory Panel of the Centre for Creative Writing, Kellogg College, Oxford, England. She is at work on a critical study of 20th century British and American poetry as well as a new novel.
Valerie Bandura’s collection of poems, FREAK SHOW (Black Lawrence Press, 2013), is a 2014 Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist. Her poems have appeared, among other publications, in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Alaska Quarterly, Third Coast, and the Best New Poets anthology. Born in the former Soviet Union, Bandura received degrees from Columbia University and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, where she served as the Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow. She was awarded a residency from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the James Merrill Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. She teaches writing at Arizona State University.