Jenny Molberg will read from her new book of poetry, “Marvels of the Invisible,” Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. in Libbey Hall.
The assistant professor of English at the University of Central Missouri won the 2014 Berkshire Prize from Tupelo Press, which published her debut last year.
Powerful and mesmerizing, Molberg’s poetry weaves together the personal and the scientific, examining relationships and immortality, the known and the unknown. The author analyzed archival letters from 17th- and 18th-century scientists, and read new studies on biological phenomena.
“One thing I love about the scientific texts I explore is their language. Centuries-old science that now may seem outdated to us was filled with moments of shock and wonder for scientists then. I love to mine these texts for diction that I may not have otherwise used,” Molberg said in an interview with How a Poem Happens.
The Texas native believes in inspiration and sweat.
“Yes — sweat and tears galore,” she said. “But I live for that outpouring.”
Erin Adair-Hodges, UT visiting assistant professor of creative writing, invited Molberg to campus. Her debut poetry book, “Let’s All Die Happy,” was released last fall.
“Recently, I asked my introductory creative writers to list questions they had about poetry, and one student wrote, ‘Why poetry at all?’ I think this is a superb question — because most of us aren’t exposed to poetry in any significant way in today’s world, we can easily think it doesn’t have a place for us,” Adair-Hodges said. “But I would argue that the value of poetry is that it looks at any and all human experiences and mines them for value. In using language in a very precise way, poetry makes our lives essential. Jenny Molberg is a poet whose work does this particularly well, saying look at the marvels inside of us.”Molberg’s work has appeared in Best New Poets, Poetry International, Ploughshares, Boulevard, Green Mountains Review, The Adroit Journal, Copper Nickel, The Missouri Review, and other publications.
At the University of Central Missouri, she teaches Advanced Poetry, Introduction to Creative Writing, and American Literature. She also is the poetry editor for Pleiades.
After graduating from Louisiana State University, Molberg went to American University and received a master of fine arts degree in poetry and then continued at the University of North Texas for a doctorate in English and creative writing. She joined Central Missouri in 2015.
Molberg’s free, public poetry reading is sponsored by the UT Department of English Language and Literature. For more information, call 419.530.2318.