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Events Archive: 2016-17

Levis Reading Prize Night


Rickey Laurentiis, winner of the 2016 Levis Reading Prize for Boy with Thorn, reads from his book and then participates in a Q&A session with the audience. A book sale and signing follow the reading.

The event is free and open to all. Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad Street, West Main Street and West Cary Street parking decks. If special accommodations are needed, or to register offline, please contact the VCU Libraries Events Office at (804) 828-0593.


The Levis Reading Prize is presented on behalf of VCU's M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program. Sponsors include the VCU Department of English, VCU Libraries, Barnes & Noble @ VCU and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, with additional funding provided by the family of Larry Levis.

About the Author

Rickey Laurentiis is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and named one of the top 16 best poetry books by Buzzfeed. He is the recipient of a 2013 creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2012 Ruth Lilly fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. His other honors include fellowships or scholarships from the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Cave Canem Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, the Alonzo Davis fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a chancellor's graduate fellowship from Washington University in St. Louis, where he received his MFA in writing.

His poems have appeared in several journals, including Boston Review, Callaloo, Feminist Studies, Fence, Indiana Review, jubilat, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New York Times, Oxford American and Poetry. They have been commissioned by the international art biennial Prospect New Orleans, critically written about by the Poetry International Foundation and translated into Spanish, Ukrainian and Arabic.

Laurentiis is a resident of Brooklyn, Ny. He has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and the Cooper Union, and he currently teaches at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College.

Image: Rickey Laurentiis, by Rachel Eliza Griffiths/Boy with Thorn cover, courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Press