January 18, 2018
The West Chester University Poetry Center is pleased to announce the selection of Jesse Waters as the Interim Artistic Director. Waters will continue the center's mission as a forum for formal poetry, but hopes that poets writing in other modes will consider attending the West Chester University Poetry Conference to learn from its rich history. Waters' own poetry, fiction, and non-fiction work has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and has appeared in national and international journals.
Waters has more than 10 years' experience in academic and arts management. Currently director of the Bowers Writers House at Elizabethtown College, he has taught poetry in both creative writing and literary analysis forums; interacted closely with a dynamic audience of poets as student, mentor, and campus host; judged contests; and worked with both editors and print-makers in the construction of poetry broadsides. He will continue his role at Bowers, noting, "I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute in a larger community perspective. I believe in the mission of arts and writing as vehicles through which a community rises to greater levels of awareness, interaction, and aesthetic growth."
Recognizing the reputation of the WCU Poetry Center's "long, rich history of providing … a unique experience in … craft-based form, narrative poetry, and new formalist writing and critical analysis," Waters plans "to be a steward of this identity, and to find the best possible way to complement and support the mission of the center."
Among Waters' honors are finalist in the Glimmer Train 2003 Poetry Open, the Davoren Hanna International Poetry Contest, and the 2010 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest, a 2003 NC Artists' Grant to attend the Vermont Studio Center, winner of the 2001 River Styx International Poetry Contest, and runner-up for the Iowa Review Fiction Prize.
Human Resources, Waters' collection of poetry, was published in 2011 (Ink Brush Press) and So Let Me Get this Straight, his work of short fiction, is forthcoming this March (Paycock Press).
Waters will also serve as director for the West Chester University Poetry Conference, to be held on campus June 6 – 9, 2018.