The PennWest Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages will host a reading with poet Jerry Wemple at 2 p.m. April 3.

He will read in Eberly Hall 120 on the California campus, and the event will be available via Zoom.

Wemple is a poet, nonfiction writer and editor. He has published four poetry collections, most recently "We Always Wondered What Became of You" from Broadstone Books. He also co-edited, with Marjorie Maddox, "Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania," an anthology from Penn State Press.

“Jerry Wemple’s vivid language tells a powerful story through his newest book, We Always Wondered What Became of You, which explores his search for his biological father and his own identity,” said Dr. Brent House, associate professor of creative writing at PennWest.

“In the context of poems that explore common experiences of labor and love, Wemple also explores more complex issues, such as race and religion. Ultimately, Wemple’s poetry speaks to every person who yearns to find the truth of their lives among the lies so often told.”

Among Wemple’s honors are the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Literature, the Word Journal Chapbook Prize, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and the Jack and Helen Evans Endowed Faculty Fellowship. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Wemple grew up in a small town along the Susquehanna River in Central Pennsylvania and in Southwest Florida.

He also served seven years in the U.S. Navy and was a newspaper reporter in Massachusetts.

He is at work on a nonfiction book about his ancestors who include a “free mulatto” born in Tidewater Virginia the in the 1700s and early German immigrants to Pennsylvania. He teaches in the Creative Writing program at Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg.