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Shara McCallum, 2021-22 Penn State Laureate, Publishes New Volume

Shara's latest collection of poetry, No Ruined Stone, was published by Alice James Books in August 2021
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Shara McCallum, 2021-22 Penn State Laureate, Publishes New Volume

As the 2021-22 Penn State Laureate, Liberal Arts Professor of English Shara McCallum has been busy fulfilling the position’s purpose “to bring greater visibility to the arts, humanities, the honoree's work, and the University.” Shara’s Laureate year was celebrated by English students and faculty on September 13th in a virtual launch webinar, a year that will feature McCallum in regular events around the Commonwealth. One such event is a weekly radio program on WPSU hosted by Shara. Running from September 2021 through June 2022, “Poetry Moment” will highlight the work of contemporary Pennsylvania poets by featuring one poem from a select author each week.

But that's not all! Shara’s most recent book of poetry, No Ruined Stone, is out now from Alice James Books. Through dramatic and lyric modes, the collection imagines a counterfactual historical moment in which the Scottish poet Robert Burns follows through on a plan to migrate to Jamaica and work as an assistant overseer on a slave plantation. Rooted in the voices that emerge from this speculative rewriting, No Ruined Stone wrestles with colonialism, Romanticism, and the burdens of inheritance. For more on the book's conception and themes, check out Shara's reflection in the New England Review.

Congratulations, Shara, on these wonderful accomplishments!