CSU, Chico News

Professor Selected for Global Poetry Prize

Date: 03-03-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico professor Heather Altfeld has received the inaugural Poets at Work Book Prize for her first poetry collection, “The Disappearing Theatre.”

The international poetry contest was judged by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn and came with a $1,000 prize and a publishing contract.

This is the first book by Altfeld, who teaches English and advises honors students at CSU, Chico. Many of the poems in “The Disappearing Theatre” are about things that disappear—childhood, relationships and places formerly inhabited, among others. The collection includes a poetic tribute to Harry Houdini, the early 20th-century performer famous for his sensational escape acts.

Altfeld holds an MFA in creative writing from CSU, Chico and a bachelor’s in anthropology and writing from Columbia University. She is a member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and has been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center, a hub for writers and artists.

She is also the area coordinator for California Poets in the Schools, a local artist-in-residency program which connects local public and charter school children with poetry.

Poets at Work is an online community of poets focused on building a larger audience for poetry internationally and fostering the creation of new works by making poetic voices heard. Learn more at poetsatwork.com.

“The Disappearing Theatre” will be published this spring by Poets at Work Press.