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GCU’s Department of English Welcomes Visiting Poet Rachel Wiley for National Poetry Month

Visiting Poet Rachel Wiley

The Georgian Court University Department of English will welcome visiting poet Rachel Wiley for a live Zoom reading on Thursday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m.

Ms. Wiley, a queer, biracial poet, performer, and body-positive activist from Columbus, Ohio, has competed in multiple National Poetry Slam Competitions and was a finalist twice in 2011. She has toured nationally, performing at slam venues, colleges, and festivals including the 2014 Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark, New Jersey. Ms. Wiley’s work has been featured by the Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, Frigg Magazine, Drunken Boat, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Nailed Magazine, and PBS NewsHour. Her first full length collection of poems, Fat Girl Finishing School, was published by Timber Mouse Press in 2014, and her collections Nothing Is Okay (2018) and Revenge Body (2022) were published by Button Poetry.

“There’s this [idea] that poets essentially write about the same three things over and over again, which is not entirely untrue, but you take on more information as you go, and you uncover more about yourself,” Ms. Wiley said in an interview with Columbus Alive in 2020, noting that her poetry are a form of self-exploration. “So you’re going to write about things you’ve already visited, but with this new information.”

“The Department of English is thrilled to be able to kick off National Poetry Month with our visiting poet, Rachel Wiley. Because the reading will be virtual, we hope to reach a wider audience with the performance/reading,” said Pamela Rader, Ph.D., GCU professor of English. “Following the reading, we will hold a virtual creative writing workshop for our GCU community with Ms. Wiley. I hope the evening will energize writers and open our minds to new ways of seeing and being in the world.”

Advanced registration for the reading, which is free and open to the public, is required at

Story by Alycia Bardon ’22, a digital communication major at Georgian Court University.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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