Katie Ford, assistant professor of English, has been awarded the Levis Reading Prize by the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University for her collection of poetry titled Colosseum. Ford will present a public reading this evening on the VCU campus.
Named in memory of the late Larry Levis, a distinguished poet and teacher at VCU, the award aims to raise cultural appreciation and advance the careers of emerging writers.
More than 150 poets and publishers entered this year’s 10th-anniversary contest. It is presented on behalf of VCU’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing program.
Colosseum stems from Ford’s experiences living through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in New Orleans. Ford examines both ancient and contemporary catastrophes in the book, with particular attention to Katrina’s power and impact.
Published by Graywolf Press in 2008, Colosseum was named a Best Book of 2008 by Publishers Weekly and was among the top 10 books of poetry of the year in the Virginia Quarterly Review. Ford is also the author of Deposition, a book of poetry, and Storm, a chapbook. Her poems have appeared in the Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Pleiades and Seneca Review.
The Levis Reading Prize award ceremony and public reading take place tonight at 8 in the VCU student commons. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.