English Department to Host Reading by Retired Professor Dr. Stephen Bluestone to Celebrate Book Release


MACON – The Department of English in Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts will host a reading by professor emeritus Dr. Stephen Bluestone on March 13 to celebrate the release of his new book, The Painted Clock and Other Poems, by Mercer University Press this month.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Connell Student Center Conference Room II at 7 p.m. and will also include a reading by Dr. Anya Silver, professor of English, from her latest book, Second Bloom, which was released by Cascade Press last September.

Dr. Bluestone taught English and film at Mercer before retiring in 2010. He now lives and works in New York City, where he was born.

His volumes The Laughing Monkeys of Gravity and The Flagrant Dead were nominated for the National Book Award in Poetry. He has won the Greensboro Review Poetry Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, as well as prizes in the Robert Penn Warren Competition and elsewhere. His work has appeared in PoetryThe Sewanee ReviewThe Hudson Review and many other journals.

In The Painted Clock, Dr. Bluestone uses Nazi extermination camp Treblinka as a setting in which to examine man’s relationship with God.

Dr. Silver joined the faculty at Mercer in 2000 after earning her Ph.D. in English literature from Emory University and her bachelor’s degree in English literature and creative writing from Haverford College.

Her second book, I Watched You Disappear, earned her the title of Georgia Author of the Year for poetry in 2015, and her work has been anthologized in a number of books and published widely in journals such as The Harvard ReviewThe Georgia ReviewThe Shenandoah ReviewFive Points and many others.

Second Bloom provides an unflinching and honest look at the suffering of cancer, while at the same time celebrating the possibility of joy, the persistence of beauty and love, and the simultaneous winnowing and comfort of faith. Dr. Silver was diagnosed and has been living with inflammatory breast cancer since 2004.