UMF presents award-winning poet January Gill O’Neil as next Visiting Writer, March 16

FARMINGTON, ME  (March 2, 2017)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to host award-winning poet January Gill O’Neil as the next reader in its notable Visiting Writers Series. Sponsored by the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, the reading will take place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 16, 2017, in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center.

The reading is free and open to the public, to be followed by a meet and greet with the author.

January Gill O’Neil

January Gill O’Neil

O’Neil is the author of “Misery Islands” (CavanKerry Press 2014) selected for a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. It was also selected as a Must-Read Book for 2015 by Mass Center for the Book and won the 2015 Massachusetts Book Award.

According to American poet Major Jackson on Misery Islands, “O’Neil candidly writes about family … of single-motherhood and of love, and in doing so penetrates the exquisiteness of the everyday while also highlighting the challenges of living as artist and mother. Indeed, there is fine balance of imagery and story and song that makes this a fine collection to own, to read back one’s own solitariness, one’s own joy.”

O’Neil is also the author of “Underlife,” (2009) and “Rewilding” to be published by CavanKerry Press in 2018. Underlife was a finalist for ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award and the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize.

Her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Green Mountains Review, Harvard Review, Literal Latte, New England Review, North American Review and Ploughshares among many others.

In 2015, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) elected O’Neil to their board of trustees. She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and an assistant professor of English at Salem State University.

More Information on the UMF Creative Writing Program

As the only Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the state of Maine and one of only three in all of New England, the UMF program invites students to work with faculty, who are practicing writers, in workshop-style classes to discover and develop their writing strengths in the genres of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Small classes, an emphasis on individual conferencing, and the development of a writing portfolio allow students to see themselves as artists and refine their writing under the guidance of accomplished and published faculty mentors. Students can pursue internships to gain real-world writing and publishing experience by working on campus with The Beloit Poetry Journal, a distinguished poetry publication since 1950; or Alice James Books, an award-winning poetry-publishing house.

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Media Contact: Jeffrey Thomson, UMF professor of creative writing, at 207-778-7454, or

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at:
Photo Credit: Submitted photo
Photo Caption: January Gill O’Neil