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MFA grad to read at Piper House, speak to local students

October 13, 2010

Nov. 2, 2010
7:45 p.m.

Poet Sarah Vap, who earned her master of fine arts degree in creative writing at Arizona State University in 2005, will give a free reading of her poetry at 7:45 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Piper Writers House, Tempe campus.

Earlier that day, she will address nearly 300 students at La Joya Community High School in Avondale, who hae been studying her work.

Vap is the author of “Dummy Fire,” which won the 2006 Saturnalia Poetry Prize, selected by Forrest Gander, and “American Spikenard,” which won the 2006 Iowa Poetry Prize, selected by Ira Sadoff.

She is co-editor of poetry for the online journal 42 Opus. Her third collection, “Faulkner’s Rosary,” was released Oct. 1 from Saturnalia Books with this description:

“Vap celebrates the mysteries of pregnancy with wonder, fear, sorrow, and joy. Like counting the beads on a rosary, she takes us along a trail of connected couplets, building a concrete yet mythic exploration of the body as it prepares to bring another body into the world.”

Poet Alice Notley writes, “This is a poetry of light, edge, and coherence, and it is beautiful.” And ASU poet Cynthia Hogue adds, “I am in awe of the rare beauty of these poems.” Her fourth collection, “Iris, Starless,” is forthcoming from Saturnalia Books.

At La Joya, Vap will speak at the school’s new Performing Arts Center  as part of a partnership between Arizona State University’s Young Writers Program (YWP) and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

It will be a return visit for Vap, who was a teaching artist for YWP – at La Joya – while she was earning her master of fine arts degree at ASU.

La Joya students also have been writing their own poems during YWP creative writing residencies lead by YWP teaching artists.

The residencies are part of YWP’s Distinguished Visiting Writers in the Schools Series. Students who participate in the series attend writing workshops that focus on one author’s work and, as a culminating event, they attend a reading/Q&A at which they meet the author.

Past authors include:
•    U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Simic   
•    American Book Award-winning poet Kimiko Hahn 
•    National Book Critics Circle Award winner Sonia Sanchez 
•    National Poetry Series winner Rigoberto González 
•    NAACP Image Award winner Dwayne Betts 
•    Tupelo Press Prize winner Aimee Nezukumatathil

For more information on the La Joya event, contact Sean Nevin, (602)496-1391, or

For more information about the reading, contact the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, (480) 965-6018, or