Barry McNamara  |  Published February 28, 2024

Award-Winning Poet

Chicago native Taylor Byas to read from her works March 4 at Monmouth College.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – A public reading will be one of the highlights of a visit to Monmouth College’s campus by award-winning poet Taylor Byas.

Byas will read from her works at 4:30 p.m. March 4 on the upper floor of Hewes Library, outside the Len G. Everett Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

TAYLOR BYAS: Award-winning poet and Chicago native to read from her works at 4:30 p.m. March 4 in Hewes Library. TAYLOR BYAS: Award-winning poet and Chicago native to read from her works at 4:30 p.m. March 4 in Hewes Library.Among her readings will be work from I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times, winner of the 2023 Maya Angelou Book Award and the 2023 Chicago Review of Books Award in Poetry. Copies of that book and her other works will be available for sale at the reading.

In addition to her book awards, Byas was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Super Highway and the 2020 Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets. The next year, she claimed the Adrienne Rich Poetry Prize.

While on campus, the Chicago native will also meet with students from a pair of Monmouth’s English classes: “Introduction to Literary Studies” and “Advanced Creative Writing (Poetry).”

“Our students benefit so much when writers visit campus. We get to recognize that the work we read has a life before and beyond the page. Real human beings make these poems and stories.” – David Wright

“Our students benefit so much when writers visit campus,” said English professor David Wright. “We get to recognize that the work we read has a life before and beyond the page. Real human beings make these poems and stories. And Taylor Byas’ poetry shows how working and re-working traditional poetic forms can make sense out of, and beauty out of, her very particular upbringing in Chicago, a territory familiar to many of our students.”

Wright also expressed how wonderful it is to have students outside of the English major experience a poet with Byas’ depth and breadth.

Byas grew up on Chicago’s South Side before moving to Alabama, where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. She went on to earn a doctorate in creative writing from the University of Cincinnati.

Now living in Cincinnati, Byas is a features editor for The Rumpus, an acquisitions poetry editor for Variant Literature, a member of the Beloit Poetry Journal Editorial Board, and a 2023-24 National Book Critics Emerging Fellow.

Byas has published two chapbooks and is co-editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol X: Alabama and Poemhood: Our Black Revival, a young adult anthology on Black folklore.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>