University of Arkansas MFA graduate, Mary Angelino, will be featured by the Ozark Poets and Writers at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Nightbird books on Dickson Street. Originally from Los Angeles, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2010, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Meridian, and 32 Poems, among others. She is a recipient of a 2011 Individual Artist Grant from the Arkansas Arts Council.
Angelino moved to Fayetteville five years ago to attend the UA’s Creative Writing program and now teaches in the English Department. “I’d never lived out of California before, and at 22 years old, I packed everything I owned into my tiny Chevy and drove here straight from California without ever having been to the South,” says Angelino. “I was expecting tumbleweeds and desert for some reason, and was pleasantly surprised about the beauty of Fayetteville and the Ozarks.” Since then, Angelino has fallen in love with her life in Fayetteville with her supportive community of writer-friends from the MFA program.
Writing poetry since the age of 18 when she took her first creative writing class, she has kept it as her major, eventually earning a B.A. from Cal State University Northridge. She remembers when she was 3 years old, sitting on the lap of her maternal grandfather as he read “The Daffodils” by William Wordsworth. “While he read, he gave me bites of his boysenberry jam toast, the sun just beginning to rise through the living room windows,” says Angelino. “I’ve been hooked on poetry ever since.”
This summer, Angelino hopes to be able to finish her book-length collection of poems and send it out for publication. It will be a rare treat to hear her read, so please join us at OPWC Tuesday night while you can catch her spoken work, and we encourage you to bring your own poetry to share at open mic. As past feature, Ashley McHugh said, “[OPWC] really encourages a sense of community, even camaraderie, that’s rare to come across; and the atmosphere is always warm and welcoming.”