2017 Viola Award Nominee for Excellence in Storytelling
On October 7, 2016, Coconino Community College (CCC) hosted the 25th Anniversary Reading event. The purpose of this community event was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of CCC by showcasing student literature and art published in the college’s student magazine, OnCourse, and featuring a Flagstaff native poet, Becky Byrkit, accompanied by a local favorite musician, Jerry Riopelle.
The student readings highlighted work completed in CCC classrooms across disciplines and showcased artwork completed in CCC’s art classes, while Rebecca Byrkit and The Actual Musicians Band performed original poetry accompanied by Riopelle’s rocking stylings. In addition to the readings, slideshows reflecting artwork from the current edition of OnCourse scrolled behind the readers on a Jumbotron, providing a full and unique visual experience to accompany the written word.
Byrkit went to Flagstaff Junior High, Flagstaff High School, majored in English at NAU, and tended bar at the Mountainaire Tavern before receiving her MFA in Poetry from the University of Arizona. She’s taught creative writing in Tucson, Greece, Maui, Tempe, and Flagstaff (NAU and CCC – where she helped found “Curios” magazine).
The author of four books, Becky’s poems have appeared in “Best American Poetry,” “Arizona Highways,” “Rolling Stone,” “Ploughshares,” “Black Warrior Review,” “Sonora Review,” “Crazyhorse,” and elsewhere. She currently teaches as a Clinical Professor of Liberal Studies and Creative Writing at Arizona State University and serves as a longtime editor with “Superstition Review.”