(October 7, 2014)

Dr. David Havird serves as poet in residence for Steelville Arts Council

SHREVEPORT, LA — This summer, Centenary Professor of English Dr. David Havird and his wife, Ashley Mace Havird, served as poets in residence for the Steelville Arts Council in Missouri from June 15 to June 22. The couple was invited by Centenary alumnus Chris Chase '92, one of the Council's founding board members. Chase majored in English at Centenary. He is currently the editor of the Cuba Free Press, a weekly independent newspaper in Cuba, Missouri.

Dr. David Havird and his wife Ashley Havird pose with their dog in Steelville, Missouri

The Steelville Arts Council is comprised of community volunteers dedicated to promoting the arts in Steelville and its surrounding area. The Council provides working space for performing artists, public gallery space for artists to display and sell their work, and areas where the public may share in art exhibitions or educational workshops.

"As poets-in-residence, Ashley and I, along with our dog, had the run of the house," said Havird. "The residency offered us the opportunity to get some writing done or find inspiration. Our only obligations were to give a poetry reading and to conduct a writing workshop. Steelville is a lovely town that bills itself as the 'floating capital of the world.'"

The Havirds held a writing workshop to discuss writing strategies and the craft of writing in general.

"It was very gratifying to meet people who shared our literary aspirations," said Havird. "Gratifying, too, seeing the vibrancy of an arts community in such a far-flung neck of the woods."

Havird is the author of two collections of poetry: Map Home (2013) and Penelope's Design (2010), which won the 2009 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Mrs. Havird, an adjunct instructor in creative writing at Centenary, is the author of two chapbooks and a full-length collection, The Garden of the Fugitives, which won the 2013 X.J. Kennedy Prize and was released in September. Both writers have poems forthcoming in Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry, which will be released in 2015.