MACON – Mercer University’s Creative Writing Program will host a reading by award-winning poet Charlotte Pence Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Presidents Dining Room inside the University Center on the Macon campus.

The event, free and open to the public, will include poetry from Pence’s new book, Code, which received the 2020 Book of the Year award from Alabama Poetry Society and was a finalist for Foreword Reviews Indie Poetry Book of 2020.

Code details not only the life cycle of birth and death, but also the means of this cycle – DNA itself – as she weaves together personal experience and scientific exploration.

“Since joining the faculty, I’ve been impressed by how truly interdisciplinary Mercer is. Creative writing students have such a wide range of interests – neuroscience, social justice, business, history, etc. – and their poems, stories and essays are strong because they incorporate these interests into their writing,” said Dr. James Davis May, writer-in-residence, lecturer and director of the Creative Writing Program in the English Department in Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “They’ll learn a lot from Charlotte Pence, whose work is a perfect example of how the sciences, arts and humanities can speak to each other.”

Pence’s first book of poems, Many Small Fires, published by Black Lawrence Press in 2015, won Foreword Reviews’ silver medal award in poetry. She is also the author of two award-winning poetry chapbooks and the editor of The Poetics of American Song Lyrics.

Her poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction have recently been published in Harvard Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, Southern Review and Brevity.

Pence, who currently serves as director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing at University of South Alabama, earned her Master of Fine Arts from Emerson College and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.

About the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences serves as the academic cornerstone of one of America’s oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest of Mercer’s 12 schools and colleges, it is a diverse and vibrant community, enrolling more than 1,900 students, dedicated to learning and service through the practice of intellectual curiosity, respectful dialogue and responsible citizenry. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in more than 30 areas of study, including more than a dozen pre-professional academic tracks, with classes taught by an outstanding faculty of scholars. In 2015, Mercer was awarded a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society that recognizes exceptional achievement in the arts and sciences. For more information, visit