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David Swerdlow to read from latest collection at Bleasby Colloquium

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Posted on Monday, September 18, 2023

Dr. David Swerdlow, professor of English at Westminster College, will read poems from his third book of poetry, “Nightstand,” at the Bleasby Colloquium at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in the McKelvey Campus Center’s Berlin Lounge.

Published through Broadstone Books this summer, Swerdlow’s latest collection highlights the struggle to shelter family in violent times. His book opens with fear for his Latina wife, for the possibility that someone “will do her some unspeakable / harm because we live in the renewed world / of hatred” — a “hard / world we never wanted to imagine.”

“While ‘Nightstand’ includes poems that contend with mass shootings, political brutality, terrorism, genocide and a growing list of other horrors that threaten us more and more directly every day, I believe these poems also partake in love, in the spirit of dignity that can be our way forward,” said Swerdlow.

Swerdlow, who joined the Westminster College faculty in 1990, specializes in creative writing, modern and contemporary American literature and postcolonial literature. His works have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, West Branch, The Denver Quarterly and others. He has authored two other books of poetry—“Bodies on Earth” (2010) and “Small Holes in the Universe” (2003)—and a novel, “Television Man,” which was released in 2019. The recipient of several awards, Swerdlow has served as a Fulbright Professor of American Literature in Peru, as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow and as visiting faculty on two Semester at Sea voyages. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and his master’s and Ph.D. from Ohio University.

The George Bleasby Colloquia series of literary events is an event in honor of the late Dr. Bleasby, who chaired the Westminster College Department of English from 1954-1975. These programs are presentations by department faculty, featured speakers, and majors on individual scholarship, interests and creative projects.

The event, sponsored by the Department of English, is free and open to the public. Copies of Swerdlow’s book will be available for purchase and signing. For more information about "Nightstand," contact Swerdlow at