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Next TU Book Club meeting to focus on poetry of T.S. Eliot

The work of T.S. Eliot, considered by many as the most influential poet of the 20th century, will be the focus of the next Thomas University Book Club at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16.

Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but was living in London when Ezra Pound recognized his talent and helped Eliot publish his work in a number of magazines, including “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” in 1915. Eliot’s first book of poems was published in 1917 and established him as a leading poet of the avant-garde. Many critics believe his poems presented the younger post-World War I generation’s disillusionment with society’s values and conventions, according to the Academy of American Poets.

Leading the discussion will be Karen Bickley, a member of the TU Book Club. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in English. Her undergraduate honors thesis was “The Cosmic and Terrestrial Dance in Tradition and in T.S. Eliot: From Ritual to Abstraction.” Bickley will draw on some of her findings during this book club discussion. She also earned a master’s degree in English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bickley served as bibliographer and speech-writer for the Dean of the College of Education at Florida State University. She also worked as a grant writer and conference coordinator for FSU’s Department of Religion and the FSU Humanities Institute. Later, as an Assistant Director for FSU’s Center for Academic and Professional Development, she was in charge of budgets for FSU’s online and part-time degree programs. Bickley also wrote grants for and coordinated the FSU Summer Holocaust Institute for 17 years. She won three national curriculum-development awards while working for FSU.

The Book Club meeting on Oct. 16 is part of Arts for the Community at Thomas University (ACTU). The meeting will be held in Classroom A inside Smith-Bonvillian Hall on TU’s Forbes Campus, located at the intersection of Pinetree Boulevard and Millpond Road in Thomasville. For more information, call 229-227-6964 or email Visit to learn about other ACTU events.

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