Dr. Corrine Clegg Hales, an award winning poet and founding member of the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing at California State University, Fresno, is the university’s new James and Coke Hallowell Professor of Creative Writing, effective this fall.

The professorship was established in 2001 by the Hallowells in an effort to attract and retain exceptionally talented faculty for the MFA program.

Following the departure of Steve Yarborough, the award winning fiction writer who was the first holder of the professorship, the award was turned into a rotational three-year term. The holder is released from teaching one course each semester to allow time to write.

Hales joined the Department of English in 1986 with a doctorate in creative writing from State University of New York, Binghampton. She was instrumental in developing the Fresno State MFA in Creative Writing Program in 1995, and served as its coordinator for many years. The program has become internationally recognized and ranks among the top MFA programs nationally.

Hales is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent of which is “To Make it Right,” published in spring 2011 (Autumn House Press) and winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize.

Her previous books are “Separate Escapes,” winner of the Richard Snyder Poetry Prize (Ashland Poetry Press); “Out of This Place” (chapbook, March Street Press); “Underground” (Ahsahta Press); and “January Fire” (chapbook, Devil’s Millhopper Press).

Her poems have appeared in the Hudson Review, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review and many other journals.

She has won two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Devil’s Millhopper Chapbook Prize and the River Styx Poetry Prize.

A reading from Hales’ recent book is the first in the Fall Reading Series of the Fresno Poets’ Association and Fresno State’s MFA in Creative Writing. It will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Voice Shop, 1296 N. Wishon Ave., in central Fresno. A book signing and reception will follow.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

Related link

MFA in Creative Writing: MFA program