Arcadia University’s Visiting Writers Welcomes Alumna, Publisher and Author Lee Merrill Byrd, March 23

Glenside, PA—Feb. 28, 2012—Arcadia University’s Visiting Writers Series presents alumna, publisher and author Lee Merrill Byrd ’67 on Friday, March 23, at 7 p.m. in Grey Towers Castle Mirror Room. Byrd and her husband, the poet Bobby Byrd, are celebrating the release of her book, Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, an anthology of poems by writers of disability accompanied by personal essays by those same writers. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available at the event for purchase.

The Byrds are being joined by Arcadia Adjunct Professor Anne Kaier, a Pushcart Prize nominee; Hal Sirowitz, author and publisher of five books of poetry; and Michael Northen, editor of the annual Inglis House poetry contest chapbook series and an editor of Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability and Poetry.

Prior to the lecture, the Byrds are holding an open workshop on the art of publishing from 2 to 4 p.m. in Grey Towers Castle. This event is open to the public. 

As stated on the website, “Byrd a novelist and publisher, was born and raised in New Jersey but has spent most of her life in the Southwest. In 1985, with her husband, poet Bobby Byrd, she founded Cinco Puntos Press, a publishing company named after their neighborhood in El Paso, Texas. Cinco Puntos—a publisher of non-fiction, fiction, poetry and children’s literature—is recognized for bringing the multicultural literatures of the American Southwest, the U.S./Mexico border region and Mexico to a national audience.

“Byrd’s collection of short stories, My Sister Disappears, was published by Southern Methodist University Press in 1993. It received a Southwest Book Award and the Stephen F. Turner Award from the Texas Institute of Letters for the best first work of fiction in 1993. In 1997, she was the recipient of the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship. In 2005, she and her husband received Cultural Freedom Fellowships from the Lana Foundation. 

“In October 2003, Cinco Puntos published Lee’s first picture book for children, The Treasure on Gold Street, A Neighborhood Story in Spanish and English. It received a Skipping Stones Honor Book Award, a Southwest Book Award, a Paterson Poetry Center Prize, and a Teddy Award from the Texas Writers League.

“Cinco Puntos published Lover Boy, A Bilingual Counting Book, in the fall of 2005. In the spring of 2006, Algonquin Books published Lee’s first novel, Riley's Fire. People Magazine chose Riley's Fire as one of the top 10 books of 2006.”

The event is being co-sponsored by Arcadia's Office of Institutional Diversity and will form part of the University’s celebration of Women’s History Month in March.

About Arcadia University: Arcadia University is a top-ranked private university in metropolitan Philadelphia and a national leader in study abroad and international education. The 2011 Open Doors report names Arcadia University a top leader in undergraduate students studying abroad. U.S. News & World Report ranks Arcadia University among the top regional universities in the North and as one of the top study abroad programs. U.S. News also ranks Arcadia’s Physical Therapy program 7th in the nation. Arcadia University promises a distinctively global, integrative and personal learning experience that prepares students to contribute and prosper in a diverse and dynamic world. (