Faculty Emeritus & Alumni Poetry Reading

Reading in 337 Bachelor Hall AND on Zoom

Thursday, November 16, 2023 7:30pm

Poets Isaac Pickell, an alumnus, and David Schloss, Miami Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing, read from their new books of poetry. They were wonderful readings and it was great to see these familiar faces.

I was surprised to hear that David retired in 2011 (though he taught until 2014), because it didn’t seem long ago. Covid distorts time. He was one of the professors who hired me twenty years back, and those first years occupy a much larger space in my memory, time wise, than the years since.

I was also surprised to hear that Isaac got his MFA in 2017, because that didn’t seem long ago either. It was interesting to hear them back to back, because their approaches to poetry are very different, yet both deeply engrossing. I recommend you order their books. The Q & A was interesting too, so much so that if host Cathy Wagner hadn’t kept track of time the discussion could have gone on for hours. Though I regrettably don’t have a transcript, this photo comes from that exchange.

Their bios are below the photo. Thanks to those who came out.


Isaac Pickell

A recent alum of Miami’s MFA program, Isaac Pickell is a Black & Jewish poet and PhD candidate at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he teaches and studies the borderlands of blackness and black literature. Isaac’s new book of poems It’s Not Over Once You Figure It Out is available for pre-order from Black Ocean. Joe Hall praises the book’s “jaw-dropping turns of thought…The poems defend against the brutal foreclosures of this historical moment”; Taylor Byas says “Pickell’s speaker collapses time as we know it.” 

David Schloss

David Schloss was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1944, and educated at Columbia University, The University of Southern California Cinema School, Brooklyn College (BA), and The Iowa Writers Workshop (MFA). After teaching at Miami for decades, he retired in 2014 from Miami as Emeritus Professor of English. His new book, Provocations—his sixth full-length poetry collection—is just out from Dos Madres Press. John Ashbery lauds him for “reinventing classical forms and meter to speak profound truths on vital issues of our day.” Lesley Hardy calls Provocations “a blistering “report” on disaster and war…a monumental and challenging work.” 

Zoom attendees, please register here.