INDIANAPOLIS — Poet Marianne Boruch will direct a readers’ theater performance of her latest poetry collection, “Cadaver, Speak,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Emerson Hall Anatomy Lecture Hall, 545 Barnhill Drive.
“Cadaver, Speak” is Boruch’s eighth collection of poetry. The collection is centered on a sequence of 30 poems — narrated by a 99-year-old woman who is dissected as part of an anatomy class — that explore issues of life and death, knowledge and bodies. Six students from the IU School of Medicine and five students from the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will read segments of “Cadaver, Speak” with Boruch.
This program, which will reflect on the complexities of how the human body functions throughout the life cycle, originated at the IU School of Medicine-Lafayette after Marianne Boruch, professor of English at Purdue University, participated in an anatomy course taught by James Walker, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor of anatomy and cell biology at IUSM-Lafayette. “Cadaver, Speak” was first performed in West Lafayette by students from IUSM-Lafayette and creative writing students from Boruch’s class in the Purdue College of Liberal Arts.
“Marianne Boruch gets us to confront the most intimate details of our lives in a language that is both talky and imagistically rich,” says Karen Kovacik, professor of English at IUPUI and former Indiana Poet Laureate. “Thanks to the wily narrator of this poem, the human body becomes a site of wonder.”
The reading, free and open to the public, is part of the 2014 Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series at IUPUI.
Boruch will also talk about the poem on WFYI’s “Sound Medicine” at 2 p.m. Oct. 26.
Boruch, who teaches creative writing at Purdue University, has published in The New Yorker magazine and was anthologized in the 1997 and 2009 editions of “The Best American Poetry.” She has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and she was a Fulbright/visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2012. In 2013, she received the prestigious Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her previous collection, “The Book of Hours.” She also completed a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center.
Emily Beckman, assistant clinical professor in the medical humanities and health studies program and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, said the reading will be especially beneficial to first-year medical students.
“Students need to realize that the body on which they are working used to belong to a living, breathing human being with a story,” she said. “Boruch’s poem aims to not only tell that story, but encourages us to consider the individual, unique stories of all who are seeking healing.”
The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series is sponsored by the Department of English in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Founded in 1997 in honor of former IUPUI Department of English chair and Professor Emeritus Rufus Reiberg and his wife, Louise, the annual Reiberg Reading Series brings nationally and regionally known writers to the IUPUI campus to present their work. The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Series is also made possible by the generous support of the Reiberg Family; the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research; the Office of Academic Affairs; University College; and University Library.
The Oct. 30 reading is co-sponsored by the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the IU School of Medicine and the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program in the School of Liberal Arts IUPUI as well as the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute. The event was made possible by a grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Visitor parking is available for a fee in the Riley Hospital outpatient parking garage, 575 Riley Hospital Drive; the University Hospital garage, 600 University Blvd.; and the Vermont Street garage, 1004 W. Vermont St.
For more information about the Reiberg Reading Series, contact Terry Kirts at email@example.com or 317-274-8929; or “like” the series’ Facebook page at The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series at IUPUI.