The Midwest Writing Center presents Marcus Wicker -- July 18 and 19.

Workshop: Wednesday, July 18, 5:30 p.m.

Rock Island Public Library – Downtown, 401 19th Street, Rock Island IL

Reading: Thursday, July 19, 5:30 p.m.

Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

Appearing locally in a pair of events sponsored by the Midwest Writing Center, award-winning author Marcus Wicker will be the guest at the Rock Island Public Library's July 18 poetry workshop and the Figge Art Museum's July 19 poetry readings. The internationally lauded author has received great praise by outlets worldwide, including the Paris Review, which wrote, “His poems find joy in language and nature, comfort in religion, and express both pride and vulnerability – often all in the same poem.”

Wicker is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and The Missouri Review's Miller Audio Prize, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem and the Fine Arts Work Center. His first poetry collection Maybe the Saddest Thing, a National Poetry Series winner, was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award, and led to a rave review in Slate: “Wicker captures pop culture’s abundance – in particular the hurry and wit of hip-hop and slam – without pop’s blind timeliness. He also fuses hip-hop’s restless dexterity, its as-if-improvised fusion of amazement and momentum and force, with an ability to reward the less purely propulsive experience of reading on the page.”

His second book Silencer – another Image Award finalist – was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017 and won the Society of Midland Authors Award, as well as the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for New Voices. According to the Paris Review, it's a collection in which author Wicker “refuses to be silent and refuses to settle for easy answers with the confidence of a poet saying what matters most.” Wicker's poems have also appeared in publications including The Nation, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Oxford American, and the Boston Review, and in addition to writing, Marcus teaches in the MFA program at the University of Memphis and is the poetry editor of Southern Indiana Review.

Admission is free to both Marcus Wicker's July 18 poetry workshop at the downtown Rock Island Public Library and July 19 reading at the Figge Art Museum, and both start at 5:30 p.m., with Thursday's event featuring an introductory reception, 6:30 p.m. readings by the Young Emerging Writers, and 7:30 p.m. readings by Wicker. For more information on these and other Midwest Writing Center happenings, call (309)732-7330 or visit

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