On Tuesday, May 2, 2017 Ken McCullough will read from his new book of poetry Dark Stars. This is McCullough’s ninth book of poetry and second from Red Dragonfly Press. The reading will be at 7:30 and there will be a reception beforehand at 6:30. Tom Dukich will play accordion during the reception. Light refreshments will be served and beverages will be available for sale. The event will take place at the Blue Heron Coffee House, 162 W. Second St. Winona, is free and open to the public and will be followed by an open mic. The reading is co-sponsored by Winona’s Fine Arts Commission, the River Arts Alliance and the Blue Heron Coffee House.
McCullough is just beginning his third term as Winona’s Poet Laureate. His poetry, stories, reviews, translations and illustrations have appeared in 250 magazines and 50 anthologies. He has received numerous awards for his poetry including the Academy of American Poets Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pablo Neruda Award, a Galway Kinnell Poetry Prize, the New Millennium Poetry Award, the Blue Light Book Award and the Capricorn Book Award. McCullough has also collaborated with Cambodian poet U Sam Oeur, a Pol Pot survivor, on a bilingual edition of U’s poetry, Sacred Vows, and a memoir, Crossing Three Wildernesses, both nominated for Minnesota Book Awards. Recently he has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Southeast Minnesota Arts Commission, as well as two Jerome Travel grants. He has served on a number of arts boards in Iowa and Minnesota and is now a board member of the River Arts Alliance. McCullough also has a strong interest in theatre, having appeared in several local productions, particularly with Theatre du Mississippi, and five films through My Town Productions.
McCullough was born in Staten Island NY and raised in Newfoundland. He was an Air Force brat; hence, has lived in many places. His travels have taken him to the British Isles, India, Mexico, Colombia, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Italy and France. He considers the backcountry of Montana and Wyoming to be his spiritual home. He was an accomplished baseball player in his younger days. McCullough has lived in Winona since 1996. He is married to playwright Lynn Nankivil. His son Orion is a student at the University of Iowa.
One critic has said “McCullough keeps one foot in the primal world and the other in community, yet he travels confidently from one to the other. Dark Stars has a deep and engaging sweep.”