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Poet Nicole Cooley to read, discuss her work at ASU

September 15, 2010

October 7, 2010
3 p.m.

Many parents, on receiving the news that their daughter planned to be a poet, would try to dissuade her.

But Nicole Cooley’s parents rejoiced at that news – which was not surprising, considering her father is noted poet Peter Cooley.

Cooley, the author of poetry books titled “Resurrection,” “The Afflicted Girls,” and “Breach,” which is about Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast, will read her work and talk about her writing on two occasions at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

The first will be a reading at 7:45 p.m., Oct. 6, in Recital Hall in the School of Music building. The second will be a Q&A at 3 p.m., Oct. 7, in the Piper Writers House.

Her forthcoming book, “Milk Dress,“ was co-winner of the Kinereth Gensler Award. It will be published in November.

Her first book of poetry, “Resurrection,” was chosen by noted American poet Cynthia Macdonald to receive the 1995 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her second book of poetry, “The Afflicted Girls,” about the Salem witch trials of 1692, was chosen as one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal.

Cooley also is the author of the novel “Judy Garland, Ginger Love.”

Her poems have appeared in many publications including Poetry, Field, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, and The Nation. In addition to the Walt Whitman Award, she has also been awarded a "Discovery"/Nation Award, and the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America. In 1996 she received a fiction grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Cooley received her BA from Brown University, her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and her PhD in American Literature and Women’s Studies from Emory University. She currently directs the new MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College-City University of New York, where she is a professor of English. She lives outside of New York City with her husband and two daughters.

Both events are sponsored by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing as part of its Distinguished Visiting Writers Series. For more information, contact the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, (480) 965-6018, or

Media Contacts:

Tom McDermott,, 
(480) 727-0818