River Arts invites poetry lovers to its first poetry reading of 2010 Sunday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at 170 Main St. Featured will be Wesley McNair, author of nine poetry collections including 2009’s “Lovers of the Lost: New and Selected Poems.”

McNair has received fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations; and received countless other honors including the Robert Frost Prize, the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry (“Fire”), the Eunice Tautens Prize from Poetry magazine, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal (also awarded to Robert Frost, Donald Hall, Maxine Cumin, Robert Lowell, May Carton, Arthur Miller and Richard Wilbur) for his “distinguished contribution to the world of letters” and two honorary doctoral degrees for literary distinction.

McNair has served three times on the nominating jury for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Featured on Garrison Keller’s “Writer’s Almanac” and National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition,” his work has appeared in the “Pushcart Prize Annual,” two editions of “The Best American Poetry” and more than 50 fifty anthologies and textbooks. Among the magazines that have published his work are AGNI and AGNI Online, The Atlantic Monthly, The Gettysburg Review, Poetry, The Southern Review and Virginia Quarterly Review.

McNair recently retired from the University of Maine at Farmington, where he directed the creative writing program. He was recently selected for a United States Artist Fellowship as one of America’s “finest living artists.”
Donations will be welcomed at the door. For more information about McNair’s reading, visit riverartsme.org; send e-mail to info@riverarts.org; or call 563-1507. Snow date is Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Earlier in the day Sunday, River Arts will kick off this year’s Sunday afternoon art lecture series with an illustrated talk by sculptor Anne Alexander at 3 p.m. Alexander, twice the recipient of a Pollack/Krasner Grant, also held a Fulbright Senior/Scholar Fellowship in 1998/99. Many of her current sculptures reflect her work done while studying the art and artifacts of the Taine Indians during her Fulbright Scholarship in the Dominican Republic.

Alexander has a master of fine arts degree from Alfred University and a bachelor of arts in art from Bard College. Her work can be seen locally at the Callback Gallery in Rockland.

There will be a wine and cheese reception following the lecture  to meet the artist. Donations of $10 will be requested at the door.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.