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KNOXVILLE — Poet, novelist and essayist Marge Piercy will read her poems and chat with the public next week in Knoxville.

Piercy will read from her work “The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems of Ritual and Remembrance,” at Temple Beth El of Knoxville, 3037 Kingston Pike, at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17. On Monday, Oct. 18, she will host an informal author chat from 3 to 4 p.m. at 1210-1211 McClung Tower on the UT Knoxville campus and will present “Poetry of Jewish Identity, a reading” in the University Center auditorium at 7 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

Piercy was born in Detroit, was educated at the University of Michigan, and is the recipient of four honorary doctorates. She has been a key player in many of the major progressive political battles of our time, including the anti-Vietnam war effort and the women’s movement, and more recently has been an active participant in the resistance to the war in Iraq.

A popular speaker on college campuses, she has been a featured writer on Bill Moyers’ PBS specials, Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” Terri Gross’ “Fresh Air,” the “Today” show, and many radio programs nationwide including “Air America” and “Oprah & Friends.”

Piercy is the author of 17 books of poetry, including “The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme,” and 17 novels, including “He, She, It” and “Gone to Soldiers.” She has published stage plays, a book on the craft of poetry, and a memoir, “Sleeping With Cats.”

Sponsors include the UT Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund, the Ready for the World international and intercultural initiative, the Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies, Writers in the Library, the UT Commission for Women, the Sisterhood of Temple Beth El of Knoxville and Heska Amuna Synagogue.

C O N T A C T :

Marilyn Kallet, UT Knoxville Department of English (865-974-6947,

Charles Primm, UT Knoxville Media and Internal Relations (865-974-5180,