Stegner Fellow Austin Smith to present at Freeport Public Library

FREEPORT — As part of the Freeport Art Museum’s Prarie Wind Live exhibit and programs, a special guest speaker and former Prairie Wind contributor, Austin Smith, will talk about his newly published book of contemporary poetry titled Almanac. The event will take place at the Freeport Public Library on Saturday, October 26 from 10 a.m. to noon and is free and open to the public thanks to support from a grant by the Freeport Community Foundation.

Smith grew up on a family dairy farm near Freeport and is a graduate of Freeport High School. He holds an MA in poetry from the University of California – Davis and an MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Smith credits Highland’s Prairie Wind magazine with giving him encouragement to continue in his writing pursuits.

Austin Smith
Freeport native Austin Smith

According to Princeton University Press, “Almanac is a collection of lyrical and narrative poems that celebrate, and mourn the passing of, the world of the small family farm. But while the poems are all involved in some way with the rural Midwest, particularly with the people and land of the northwestern Illinois dairy farm where Austin Smith was born and raised, they are anything but merely regional. As the poems reflect on farm life, they open out to speak about childhood and death, the loss of tradition, the destruction of the natural world, and the severing of connections between people and the land.”

Prairie Wind Live continues at the Freeport Art Museum until November 9. This special exhibit brings together the visual, literary and performance arts in an exciting collaboration between the Freeport Art Museum and Highland Community College. For over 20 years, HCC has produced an award-winning publication called Prairie Wind, featuring art, poetry, short stories and music selected from the Highland Gallery’s annual District Juried Art Exhibition.

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Freeport, IL 61032-9341

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