Author & Poet Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz to Give Lecture at MCCC, 9/10

An author, poet, and two-time winner of the National Poetry Slam will discuss the balance between pursuing a career in the arts and paying the bills during a lecture at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, author of eight books and recipient of the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, will present the lecture "Don't Quit Your Day Job...Yet" as part of MCCC's Distinguished Lecture Series in Room 109 of the Communications Building on the college's West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Aptowicz will share her tips and strategies for pursuing a career in the arts while still working a 9-to-5 job. Using stories from her life and sharing some of her work, Aptowicz will demonstrate how one can turn their passion for creating into a career -- without sacrificing the job that puts food on the table.

A native of Philadelphia, Aptowicz received her BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University in 2000. It was during her time at NYU that Aptowicz was introduced to the New York poetry slam community. After college, she worked as an editor for the online portal, served coffee at the Bowery Poetry Club, and worked as rights manager at the Artists Rights Society.

In 2010, Aptowicz was named ArtsEdge Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 2011 was awarded the NEA Fellowship.

Aptowicz continues to perform and lecture internationally, including residencies with or performances at the Sydney Opera House, the Gasworks Art Complex in Melbourne, the Largo Theatre in Los Angeles, and more than 100 universities and colleges. In 2013, she was named the poet in residence at Amy Clampitt House, where she finished her sixth book of poetry and second book of non-fiction.

For more information on MCCC's Distinguished Lecture Series, call (609) 570-3324 or visit

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