Award-Winning New Hampshire Poet Gives Talk on Rhetoric and Writing at Southern Vermont College

March 3, 2011

Understanding our inner and outer rhetoric, or how we talk, is helpful in producing effective writing, according to poet and professor Alexandria Peary, who delivered the final lecture in Southern Vermont College’s Citizenship through Empowerment lecture series on Tuesday, March 22, at 2:45 p.m. in the Everett Theatre on campus. Peary, an Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Wentworth Institute of Technology, presented, “Peter Elbow, Walter Ong and Dorothy Sarnoff: A Discussion of Inner and Outer Rhetoric.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception and booksigning with the award-winning poet, in the Burgdorff Gallery.

This lecture was made possible with a gift from The Milton and Dorothy Sarnoff Raymond Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation. In her talk, Peary cited speechwriter Dorothy Sarnoff, rhetorical theorist Walter Ong and writing teacher Peter Elbow as gurus who provide help in understanding how one communicates, especially in conjunction with Buddhist mindfulness practice. “Meditation strategies can help us manage the balance of inner and outer rhetoric and overcome writer’s block,” said Peary.

Peary’s recent research in rhetoric appears in College Composition and Communication and in NCTE’s Engaging Audience (2009). Her poetry has been published in The Gettysburg Review, New American Writing and The Denver Quarterly. A book of her poems, Fall Foliage Called Bathers & Dancers, was published in 2008; Lid to the Shadow has just been published. Peary is also the recipient of the Joseph Langland Award from the Academy of American Poets and the 2010 Slope Editions Book Prize, as well as a nomination for a Pushcart Prize.

Peary holds MFA degrees in Poetry from the University of Iowa and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as a Ph.D. in Composition from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to coming to Wentworth, she served for a decade as the Writing Program Director and a professor at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H.

Alexandria Peary’s lecture concludes Southern Vermont College’s Citizenship Through Empowerment lecture series for the academic year 2010-2011.