Wilkins to present new collection ‘When We Were Birds’

Joe Wilkins, associate professor of EnglishJoe Wilkins, associate professor of English at Linfield College, will read from his latest work on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room of the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield.

Wilkins will present his new book of poems, “When We Were Birds.” In this collection, he wrestles his attention away from the grief, deprivations and high prairies of his Montana childhood. He turns instead toward “the bean-rusted fields and gutted factories of the Midwest” — toward ordinary injustice and everyday sadness, toward the imminent birth of his son and his own confusions in taking up the mantle of fatherhood, toward faith and grace, legacy and luck.

Wilkins is the author of a memoir, “The Mountain and the Fathers,” which won a GLCA New Writers Award in 2014, as well as two previous books of poetry, “Notes from the Journey Westward” and “Killing the Murnion Dogs.” His most recent anthology, “When We Were Birds,” was selected by former United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series. Wilkins lives with his family in McMinnville, where he teaches creative writing and American literature at Linfield.

This reading, part of the “Readings at the Nick” series, is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Linfield Nicholson Library and the Linfield English Department. For more information, contact Susan Barnes Whyte at 503-883-2517, swhyte@linfield.edu.