Second Sunday Poetry in The Depot, 200 South Jones, will feature Jennifer Kidney on February 8 at 2:00 pm reading from her recent work. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Jennifer Kidney is a freelance scholar and adjunct assistant professor for the College of Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of six books of poetry; her most recent collection, Road Work Ahead, was published by Village Books Press in 2012. She hopes to have a new book, The Road to the River, out soon. Her poetry has also appeared in numerous journals and little magazines, including Sugar Mule, Crosstimbers, Picking Up the Tempo, Kudzu, The Seattle Review, Malpais Review, and The Bellingham Review.
She has done poetry readings all across Oklahoma as well as in Texas, Wyoming, Ohio, Michigan, and at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2005. She has twice been nominated for Oklahoma Poet Laureate—by the Oklahoma Library Association in 2006 and by the Jim Lucas-Checotah Public Library in 2008, when she was one of three finalists for the distinction.
Kidney has a B.A. with Highest Honors in English from Oberlin College and a M.Phil. and Ph.D. in English from Yale University and more than twenty years of university level teaching experience. She has also worked as a technical writer, poet-in-the-schools, and arts administrator. In 2007, the Oklahoma Library Association presented her with a Special Project Award for Let's Talk About It, Oklahoma, a statewide reading and discussion project that Kidney oversaw for twenty-two years.
Jennifer says she wrote her first poem when she was seven years old, and she can still recite it, but although she always aspired to be a poet, she found the poetry presented to her in elementary school to be “lame” and was more inspired by the lyrics of country and rock and roll songs. It wasn't until 9th grade, when her English teacher, Miss Simpson, introduced her to the poetry of Emily Dickinson that she discovered that poetry can be a way of expressing anything and everything. She often feels as if she were “channeling” Dickinson.
Kidney has won awards for her poetry, technical writing, and brownie baking, and lately she has been presenting a series of programs on Herbs and Spices at the Ada and Jim Lucas-Checotah Public Libraries. She lives in Norman with two cats, Princess Freddy and Marvin Gaye, and her dog Lizzie.
Second Sunday Poetry, hosted by Oklahoma Poet Laureate and Book Award Winner Carl Sennhenn, features selected regional poets or writers each month and is made possible in part by a grant from Norman Arts Council. For additional information on Depot programs phone 405 307-9320.