UTPA faculty member to publish poem in national newspaper column
Posted: 11/09/2007
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Dr. Steven Schneider, professor of English and director of New Programs and Special Projects in the College of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas-Pan American, will have his poem "Chanukah Lights Tonight" published Nov. 29 in Ted Kooser's weekly column, "American Life in Poetry."

Kooser served as the U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. He was a well-received speaker at the UTPA campus in February 2005 just prior to winning the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry that same year for "Delights and Shadows," one of the 10 collections of poetry Kooser has authored.

- Dr. Steven Schneider
"American Life in Poetry," which Kooser initiated while Poet Laureate, provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. Sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, the Library of Congress and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the sole mission of this project is to promote poetry by seeking to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.

Schneider's poem was chosen for the holiday season. It will also be published in a forthcoming collection of poems titled "Unexpected Guests" (Blue Light Press, 2008). Schneider is the author of several books, including a major study of the contemporary American poet A.R. Ammons titled "A.R. Ammons and the Poetics of Widening Scope." He is also the co-creator with his wife Reefka of the poetry-art exhibit "Borderlines: Drawing Border Lives," a series of 25 poems and drawings about life in the Rio Grande Valley.

A member of the UTPA faculty since 2001, Schneider served as chair of the Department of English from August 2001 to June 2007. Under his direction the Department of English launched a new Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing and an annual summer Creative Writing Institute. In his new position, he is working with the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities to expand FESTIBA (Festival of International Books and Arts) and its partnership with the Texas Book Festival, as well as to build new partnerships with the Region One Educational Service Center and the nonprofit literacy organization Reading is Fundamental.

While the "American Life in Poetry" column is not regularly published in a newspaper locally, you can access Schneider's poem when scheduled in November and read other poems from published authors from across the nation at