Nicholls hosts award-winning poets to honor 70th anniversary

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University invites you to a relaxing evening of poetry readings from a selection of award-winning authors as part of the celebration of the university’s 70th anniversary.

Authors include David Middleton, Alcee Fortier Distinguished Service Professor and Professor Emeritus; Dr. Albert Davis, Alcee Fortier Distinguished Service Professor and Professor Emeritus; Jay Udall, Nicholls poet-in-residence; and Dr. Jack Bedell, Louisiana Poet Laureate and Houma native.

Titled, “A Garland for Nicholls: An Evening of Readings by Nicholls Poets and Guests,” the event, which is free and open to the public, will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the Mary and Al Danos Theater.

“Over our 70-year history, Nicholls has been fortunate to host a wealth of faculty and students engaged in the art of poetry,” said Dr. John Doucet, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Alcee Fortier Distinguished Professor. “To have an elegant evening of readings celebrating both the university’s anniversary as well as this historical fortune is the perfect match.”

Middleton served as a professor of English and department head during his 33-year tenure at Nicholls. He is the author of six books, including “The Language of the Heart,” which was named the best book by a Louisianian in 2002 by The Advocate, and is a recipient of the 2005 Tate Allen Award and the State of Louisiana Governor’s Award for Outstanding Professional Artist for 2006.

Dr. Davis spent 34 years at Nicholls, the last decade as the Dean of University College, before retiring in 2015. The author of five books, including three novels, Dr. Davis received the Ione Burden Award for the Novel in 1983, the John Z. Bennet Award for Poetry in 1984 and the PEN Faulkner Award by LSU Press in 1993.

An assistant professor of languages and literature since 2011, Udall is the author of six books of poetry, including “The Welcome Table,” which received the New Mexico Book Award. His most recent book, “Because a Fire in Our Heads,” received the 2017 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize.

Bedell is the author of nine books of poetry and has taught creative writing at Southeastern University since 1992. Bedell received the Governor’s Award for Artistic Achievement in 2007, earned the 2005 Special Humanities Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and was honored with Southeastern’s President’s Award for Excellence in Artistic Activity in 1997.


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