When Richard Katrovas speaks at Anne Arundel Community College in April, the audience will see a distinguished professor of English and a well-respected and internationally known poet.
After all, he has written six books of poetry, is a former Fulbright scholar, has won numerous grants and awards and is the founding academic director of the Prague Summer Seminars, a workshop for creative writing, photography and cultural studies.
But Katrovas is also the product of poverty. The oldest of five children, he lived in cars and motel rooms while his father dodged the law. Then, during his father’s incarcerations, the family lived in public housing. He was adopted in his teens by relatives living in Japan and his life began to follow a more traditional path.
In tribute to April being National Poetry Month, Katrovas will read from his works at a free poetry reading at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in the Special Collections Room of Truxal Library on AACC’s Arnold campus, 101 College Parkway. A question-and-answer session follows the reading.
Katrovas earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University, was a Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia, attended a Master of Fine Arts program at University of Arkansas and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Shortly after earning his master’s degree, he went to Prague, Czechoslavakia (now the Czech Republic), on a Fulbright fellowship, a continuing influence in his works.
He taught at the University of New Orleans for 20 years, beginning in 1983, spending many summers in Prague with the Prague Summer Seminars which he founded and directed. He is now a professor of English at Western Michigan University.
Katrovas’ visit is sponsored by the college’s Cultural Events Committee. For information, call Shelley Puhak, 410-777-1149 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Call disability support services, 410-777-2307 or Maryland Relay 711, 72 hours in advance, to request special accommodations.