Coffee Night features Dean Rader

“Jimson Weed” staff recognize Adrian for service as Language and Literature chair

A crowd of 60 people gathered in the Rhododendron Room in the Slemp Student Center on Thursday, April 19 for UVa-Wise’s Coffee Night.

Award-winning poet and University of San Francisco English professor Dean Rader gave the keynote address at “The Jimson Weed” Spring Coffee Night April 19.
Award-winning poet and University of San Francisco English professor Dean Rader gave the keynote
address at “The Jimson Weed” Spring Coffee Night April 19.

Coffee Night is a bi-annual event that happens once each semester on the UVa-Wise campus. The event celebrates the publication of “The Jimson Weed” literary journal, a publication that students, faculty and members of the community have the chance to submit works to. Those who are selected to have work published get the opportunity read their work to attendees of Coffee Night.

“Jimson Weed” Managing Editor Heaven L. Parridgen once again led the introductions of speakers throughout the night along with help from Assistant Managing Editor Gabriel Dillon.

Dean Rader gave the evening’s keynote address. He is an award-winning poet and English professor at the University of San Francisco in California.

Rader is familiar with the campus of UVa-Wise. He first spoke at Coffee Night back in the fall of 2013.

“The reason I bother coming here is because I think there is a lot of similarities between where I grew up and the places you all grew up,” said Rader. He is originally from a small farm town in Oklahoma.

During this trip to campus, Rader gave a lecture April 18 on his latest work titled “Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry”. He discussed the analogy between the Wikipedia entry and self-portrait. He then spoke at Coffee Night the following day. During his visit to Wise, he spent time with UVa-Wise students and faculty.

“It’s great to be back, I had a wonderful time here,” Rader told the evening’s audience. “I want you all to know, those of you who are students here, how lucky you are to be at an institution where so many of your faculty care about you and put together this project.”

Rader was enthusiastic about this semester’s edition of “Jimson Weed” and congratulated the student staff for how great it looked.

“The Jimson Weed” staff recognized outgoing UVa-Wise Language and Literature Department chairman John Mark Adrian.
“The Jimson Weed” staff recognized
outgoing UVa-Wise Language and Literature Department chairman John Mark Adrian.

Rader read from “Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry” at Coffee Night. He made the reading personal by asking audience members if they had any requests for specific poems of his they wanted to hear, which is something he said he does not normally do.

One audience member engaged with the speaker and asked to hear Rader’s poem titled “Cartography or American Allegory I”. The poem reminisces on Rader’s time as a child growing up in Oklahoma and his transition in adulthood. All poems read by Rader gave those present personal insight into the author’s life.

Other presenters at Coffee Night included Lavonne Baker, Henry [and Frances] Keuling-Stout, Sandy Yun, Karl de Luca, Ethan Samerdyke speaking in his father’s place, Carlie Clark and Michael Adams, who also read works from Dylan Mabe, Tori Lane, Autumn Stover and Josi Stidham.

UVa-Wise Department of Language and Literature Chairman John Mark Adrian gave the evening’s opening and closing remarks. This year marks Adrian’s sixth and final year as chair holder of the department. In his closing remarks, Adrian said, “It has been six years of joy, unadulterated joy.”

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