CORVALLIS, Ore. - Author Lia Purpura, celebrated for her lyric essays and sharp poetic descriptions, will read from her most recent collection of essays, "Rough Likeness," on Friday, March 9, at Oregon State University.

The free public reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in The Valley Library's main rotunda; a book signing follows.

In "Rough Likeness" (Sarabande Books, 2012), Purpura lends a poetic voice to seemingly ordinary experiences. Booklist reviewer Donna Seaman wrote of the book: "With a poet's sensibility and a storyteller's stride, Purpura creates essays that heat up like beakers over Bunsen burners as she boils down the concatenation of experience into whorled and gleaming words."

Purpura is the author of three books of poetry and two books of lyric essays. A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, she is the recipient of numerous awards including three Pushcart Prizes. Purpura is writer-in-residence at Loyola University in Baltimore and teaches at Pacific Lutheran University.

Purpura's appearance in Corvallis is part of the School of Writing, Literature, and Film's 2011-12 Visiting Writers Series, and is made possible by contributions from The Valley Library, the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and the OSU Beaver Store.

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Rebecca Olson, 541-737-1648