SPRING 2022 Events
UPDATE: THIS IS NOW AN ALL-VIRTUAL EVENT
2022 Poetry and Creative Arts Virtual Festival
Breakthrough: Invigorating Creative Practices
Featuring Keynote Speaker/Performer
The West Chester University Poetry Center is excited to announce the 2022 Poetry and
Creative Arts Festival. The theme is Breakthrough: Invigorating Creative Practices.
Cornelius Eady will be our Keynote Speaker. We will feature a performance by The Cornelius
Pandemic weary, we are all seeking a breakthrough. Perhaps it is a change in routine, perhaps it is a new way of conceptualizing creativity or expression, or perhaps it is a shift in thinking about ourselves and our place in our communities, and our world. WCU’s Poetry and Creative Arts Festival opens up possibilities for considering how poetry supports us in our moments of breakthrough: How does poetry inspire us to pursue change? How can poetry bring us closer to deeper understanding? C.R.A.F.T: WCU’s Poetry and Creative Arts Festival, gives us the opportunity to shift our creative practices in new directions, whether that is personal experimentation with form and meter, or building communal connections with visual and performing arts, artists, and musicians as we contemplate the transformative possibility of breakthrough.
Working with a shared respect and understanding of craft, The Poetry and Creative Arts Festival gives poets and critics, musicians, as well as visual and performing artists opportunities to forge connections across disciplines, to delve into innovative approaches to artmaking, to engage new media and technology, to reconsider the power of revision, and to sharpen their critical lenses.
Poet/Playwright/Songwriter and Cave Canem Co-Founder Cornelius Eady was born in Rochester, NY in 1954, and is Professor of English, and the John C. Hodges Chair of Excellence in Poetry at the University of Tenn. Knoxville, a position last held by US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. He is the author of several poetry collections, including Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize; The Gathering of My Name, nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Brutal Imagination, and Hardheaded Weather. He wrote the libretto to Diedra Murray’s opera Running Man, which was short listed for the Pulitzer Prize in Theatre, and his verse play Brutal Imagination won the Oppenheimer Prize for the best first play from an American Playwright in 2001. His awards include Fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Cornelius Eady Trio
Lisa Liu is a guitarist based in Brooklyn, NY. She plays gypsy jazz, experimental, folk, and solo guitar. Liu is an Artist Ambassador for Santa Cruz Guitar Company and is also endorsed by Krivo Pickups. She is a Teaching Artist at Django In June, and has also been an Artist In Residence at The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
NYC based guitarist/composer Charlie Rauh has been invited to be resident composer by such organizations as The Rauschenberg Foundation, The Klaustrid Foundation, and The Chen Dance Center. His work as a soloist has been supported by grants from Meet The Composer, The Untitled Artist Group, and The Fractured Atlas Group. Rauh’s approach to solo guitar composition takes inspiration from folk lullabies, plainchant, and the imagery of various poets ranging from the Brontës to Anna Akhmatova. Acoustic Guitar Magazine notes that “Charlie Rauh plays guitar with a quiet intensity, each note and chord ringing with purpose...With these lullabies Rauh gives a gentle reminder that playing soft and slow can be more impactful than loud and fast." Rauh is currently signed to the Austin based label Destiny Records as a soloist and recording artist.
2 and 3 Day Workshops
Jane Satterfield and Ned Balbo present The Echoing Green: Poems of the Living World - 3 Day Workshop
In the words of Adam Zagajewski, is it still possible to “praise the mutilated world”? In this workshop, we’ll consider the ways that poetry may respond to our changing environment. First, we’ll look at some models: at this historical tipping point, how may lyric verse continue to celebrate nature’s beauty? Does an awareness of environmental fragility influence contemporary nature poetry? With attention to formal aspects of both metrical and non-metrical work, we’ll examine contemporary nature poems by diverse authors, as well as eco-poems on topics such as our relationship to animals, human migration/dislocation, habitat loss, and more. We’ll look at how what’s now called “eco-poetry” reinvents our understanding of the poet’s relationship to nature in the era of climate change. Workshop will center on discussion of your own nature poems to be submitted prior to our first in-class discussion.Jane Satterfield is the recipient of awards in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland Arts Council, Bellingham Review, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Mslexia, and more. Her books of poetry are Her Familiars, Assignation at Vanishing Point (Elixir Press Poetry Award), Shepherdess with an Automatic, and Apocalypse Mix, winner of the 2016 Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her book Daughters of Empire: A Memoir of a Year in Britain and Beyond features selections that received the Florida Review Editors’ Prize and the Faulkner Society/Pirate’s Alley Essay Award. Recent nonfiction appears in Ascent, Entropy, Hotel Amerika, and DIAGRAM. She is also co-editor (with Laurie Kruk) of the multi-genre anthology Borderlands and Crossroads: Writing the Motherland (Demeter Press). New poems may be found in Ecotone, Hopkins Review, Missouri Review, Orion, and elsewhere. For more, visit https://janesatterfield.org.
Ned Balbo ’s newest books are The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots (New Criterion Poetry Prize) and 3 Nights of the Perseids (Richard Wilbur Award), both published in 2019. His previous books are Upcycling Paumanok, Lives of the Sleepers (Ernest Sandeen Prize and ForeWord Book of the Year gold medal), Galileo’s Banquet (Towson University Prize) and The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems (Poets’ Prize and the Donald Justice Prize). He has received a National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship and three Maryland State Arts Council poetry awards. In July 2021 he was a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. New poems appear in American Journal of Poetry, Christian Century, The Common, Ecotone, Gingko Prize 2019 Ecopoetry Anthology, Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere. For more, visit https://nedbalbo.com.
Juliana Gray and George Green present Reel Verse: Ekphrastic Poems with the Spotlight on Movies - 3 Day Workshop
Many poets like to talk about movies and some like to write about them, too. We will discuss the principal problem that all ekphrastic poems share: will the poem engage the reader who hasn't seen the film or work of art? Can the poem delight a reader who may not like its subject? Can it stand alone as an autonomous work? We'll read and discuss examples by Danez Smith, Tiffany Midge, Richard Wilbur, Frank O’Hara, Natasha Trethewey, and others, analyzing the strategies these writers use to engage their subjects and use the movies as springboards to questions of gender, race, politics, and love. Poets with an interest in movies and the visual arts are encouraged to attend.
Juliana Gray is a poet and English professor, originally from Alabama and attended the University of Alabama, earned her M.A. from The University of Tennessee, and her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of three full-length poetry collections; the most recent is, Honeymoon Palsy (Measure Press). Her second book, Roleplay (Dream Horse Press, 2012), won the 2010 Orphic Prize. Roleplay also won the 2013 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize for the best annual poetry collection published by an upstate New York author. Her first book of poetry is The Man Under My Skin, River City Publishing, 2005. She is a Professor of English at Alfred University in Western New York.
George (Wayne) Green’s book of poems, Lord Byron’s Foot, won the New Criterion Prize in 2012 and the Poets’ Prize in 2014. His work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Poetry 180; 180 More Poems; The Best American Poetry 2005, and 2006; The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets; and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds. Green grew up in western Pennsylvania but has lived for over three decades in Manhattan’s East Village. He teaches at Lehman College, CUNY, in the Bronx. In 2014 he received an award for literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Jacob Camacho presents Kindred Crafting: How We Respond to the World - 3 Day Workshop/Performance
This Spoken Word workshop will focus on the fundamentals of performance poetry; recognizing senses of urgencies within one another’s stories and sharpening the basic pillars of spoken word. From commanding the audience to personal cadences, we will workshop one another’s work with praise and constructive criticism.
Jacob L. Camacho is a CHamoru writer originally from the island of Guåhan (Guam). Currently, he is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Stockton University. He enjoys studying different forms of storytelling with his students, colleagues, and friends. Themes he likes to discuss within writing deal with racism, colonialism, and socio-economic class. He will soon submit his short story collection manuscript, “TalkBoy”, for consideration of publication in January 2022, which follows a CHamoru man around the world recording a variety of diverse stories through his Talkboy recorder, which was gifted to him by his grandmother. He appreciates his elders sharing their storytelling tools and techniques and is excited to share it with the world.
If you've ever fallen under the spell of Hamilton!: The Musical, then here's your shot to really explore the genius of the lyrics. With an eye to rhyme practice, we'll learn just enough about the history of rhyme and its changing practice in poetry, rap, and musical theater to explore how Hamilton! creates character through the differentiated rhyme repertoires of its historical figures. Participants can choose a character to explore and help us work through how that person's rhyme practice characterizes their politics, intelligence, and agendas. From the shifting power dynamics between Hamilton and Burr to the friendly rivalry between Eliza and Angelica to the rap battle between Jefferson and Hamilton to the multilingual rhymes of Lafayette, the spare rhyming practice of Washington, to the heartbreaking, almost rhymeless scene in which Philip dies, you'll help us pinpoint and really understand what Stephen Sondheim meant when he said, "Rhyme does something to the listener’s perception that is very important, and Lin-Manuel recognizes that, which gives the ‘‘Hamilton’’ score a great deal more heft than it might otherwise have."
Natalie Gerber is professor of English and director of the Honors Program at the State University of New York at Fredonia. In addition to publishing essays on rhythm, intonation, and rhyme in relation to the history and structure of the English language, most recently in Critical Rhythm (ed. Benjamin Glaser and Jonathan Culler, Fordham UP, 2019) and On Rhyme (ed. David Caplan, U of Lieges P, 2017), she has worked with a range of scholars to collaboratively curate or convene multidisciplinary conversations on these topics, including Intonation (Thinking Verse), with David Nowell Smith; Prosody: Alternative Histories, with Eric Weiskott (Stanford’s Arcades Project), and, with Peter Elbow, a five-day symposium at UMass Amherst, “Rhythm and Intonation on the Page.” Most recently, she served as guest editor for the 2018 and 2019 Robert Frost Review and as an associate editor of the Wallace Stevens Journal. At SUNY Fredonia, she directs the Honors Program and collaboratively organizes Writers@Work: An Alumni Writers-in-Residence series, which promotes professional writing in all fields and disciplines. She teaches courses in professional writing, editing, grammar and style, as well as poetry, and lives in Western New York.
Included in Registration! One Day Studio Time or Poetry Workshop
Sherese Francis presents Poetry As Architexture
Inspired by the work of poets and thinkers like June Jordan and Lewis Latimer, in this workshop, we will explore poetry as not simply text on a 2D page, but multidimensional containers for meaning and space-making. Through showing examples of my own work and the work of other poets and artists, participants will have a chance to design containers for their own poetic works. Poetic design prompts will include bookmaking, concrete poetry, poetic collage and poetic sculptures.
Sherese Francis (she/they) is an Alkymist of the I-Magination and expresses her(e)self through poetry, interdisciplinary arts, workshop facilitation, editing and literary curation. Her(e) work has been published in various journals and magazines including Furious Flower, Obsidian, and The Caribbean Writer. Sherese has published three chapbooks, Lucy’s Bone Scrolls, Variations on Sett/ling Seed/ling, and Recycling a Why That Rules Over My Sacred Sight.
Raina León presents Dance free those dry bones!
"We are all going to die" is a common line in films about apocalypses. Fueled by population decline, disease, vampires, the impending doom of a meteor, climate crises, zombies, a Thanos snap, robots that self-replicate and use humans as batteries, or just 2012 as a whole year, we all know the end is coming. Or is it here? What if we say, yes to an end and yes to beginnings? What if we can even dance and write and paint new worlds into creation? Energy never dies; it transforms. In this workshop, we will study science fiction (in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual arts) alongside real life examples of people imagining and creating new worlds. We really will dance y'all, and paint ourselves some skies and write bridges to new stars. Ultimately, apocalypse means great revelation. Let's see what we will reveal!
For this workshop, you should dress comfortably, have your favorite art making materials at hand, and be ready to write or dictate new literary work.
Raina J. León, PhD is Afro-Boricua and from Philadelphia. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn, and sombra: dis(locate) and the chapbooks, profeta without refuge and Areyto to Atabey: Essays on the Mother(ing) Self. Her poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and scholarly work has been published in well over 100 journals and anthologies. She also is a founding editor of The Acentos Review.
Weekend Workshops (Saturday and Sunday, April 9 &10)
Dilruba Ahmed presents The Exalted & The Everyday in the Ghazal & the Ode - 2 Day Workshop
In this double session of Poem Plus Prompt, we’ll unpack two very different kinds of formal poems: the ghazal and the ode. Join us for a discussion of the ways in which form and content come together to celebrate both the elevated and the mundane in a curated packet of poetry. How does the ghazal embrace and weave both what is earthly as well as what is sacred or divine? How might the ode illuminate and celebrate seemingly mundane aspects of life in ways that reveal new understandings? This workshop will include writing prompts for participants to experiment with both the ghazal and the ode.
Dilruba Ahmed is the author of Bring Now the Angels (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020), with poems featured in New York Times Magazine, The Slowdown, and Poetry Unbound with Pádraig Ó Tuama. Her debut book of poetry, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press), won the Bakeless Prize. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares. Her poems have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2019 (Scribner), New Moons: Contemporary Writing by North American Muslims (Red Hen), Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford/St. Martin’s) and elsewhere. Ahmed is the recipient of The Florida Review’s Editors’ Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship in Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers. She has taught with Chatham University’s MFA Program, Hugo House in Seattle, and workshops across the U.S. In January 2021, Ahmed joined the faculty at Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers. Classes & consultations: https://www.dilrubaahmed.com/writing-lab
Cindy King presents Building the Container You Need: Hybrid Forms - 2 Day Workshop
In this workshop, we will build our experimentation muscles through writing exercises and reading experimental published pieces. Some authors we'll dip into are Raymond Queneau, Bhanu Kapil, Claudia Rankine, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.
Cynthia Arrieu-King is an associate professor of creative writing at Stockton University and a former Kundiman fellow. Her books include Futureless Languages (Radiator Press 2018) and it's companion Continuity (Octopus Books 2021) and the experimental memoir The Betweens (Noemi Press 2021). Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, TriQuarterly, and the tiny. She has taught educators and writers in New Jersey schools through the Dodge Poetry Foundation and through the professional development seminars offered by Poetry Out Loud.
The elegy and ode are often depicted as polar opposites--elegies being the poetic form for loss and lament, odes being the form for celebration and praise. This workshop will question that binary. What aspects of the ode are elegiac? What aspects of the elegy are celebratory? In seeking to answer these questions, this workshop with examine works from poets such as Ross Gay, John Keats, Pablo Neruda, Kim Addonizio, and Lucille Clifton. Writing exercises based on these poets will be provided.
Allison Joseph currently lives, teaches, and writes in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University. Her most recent collections of poems are Lexicon (Red Hen Press, 2021), Professional Happiness (Backbone Press, 2021), and Confessions of a Barefaced Woman (Red Hen Press, 2018). Confessions of a Barefaced Woman won the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Award and was a finalist in the poetry category for the 2019 NAACP Image Award. Her poems have appeared in the New York Times and in the Best American Poetry Series. She is the widow of poet and editor Jon Tribble.
Included in Registration! Weekend One Day Studio Time or Poetry Workshop
Poetic forms crave fire. But despite the sonic pleasure and powder-keg power emanating from the formal interventions of poets like Ruth Ellen Kocher (the mother of the gigan) and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon (a nimble practitioner of the bop), many poets misperceive form as well-behaved. In this workshop, we will read and write disobediently. As we learn the moves that make the gigan and the bop so alluring, we will work toward two energetic drafts.
Joshua Davis is the author of Reversal Spells in Blue and Black and, with Allison Blevins, the co-author of Chorus for the Kill (both forthcoming from Seven Kitchens Press). He holds an MFA from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine, an MFA from the University of Mississippi, and an M.A. from Pittsburg State University. A former John and Renee Grisham fellow, he offers online workshops and private mentoring at The Poetry Barn. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Inflectionist Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The New Southern Fugitives, Tinfish, and Apalachee Review. He is a doctoral candidate in Literature at Ohio University, and he teaches high school English near Tampa, Florida.
Christine Otis presents Writing About Standup Comedy
The emphasis for this workshop is learning how to make the reader laugh. Participants will listen and watch comedians Michael Jr., Ilisa Shlesinger and Michael McIntye. Some of the discussions will include understanding the punch line and why it made you laugh, the use of negative space both visually and in writing, how to use space to your advantage to drop a comedic line, and exploring the difference between verbal and written comedy, while understanding the importance of delivery. Participants will be given examples of concrete poems to understand how words can be manipulated into a visual space. Participants will also be encouraged to ask themselves, what would be the first step a poet would decide to take? Would it be to create the structure of the concrete poem and then construct the words, or would it be to create the words to construct the concrete poem?
Christine Otis is a writer, artist, and teacher. She recently received an honorable mention for her mural, “The Phoenix,” for the ZipUsUp project, which is currently being exhibited at the Baldwin Library in Michigan. She won the poster design contest for Dr. Talbot Spivak Holocaust Memorial Week at Florida SouthWestern State College (2020 & 2021), won the writing contest for Dr. Talbot Spivak Holocaust Memorial Week at Florida SouthWestern State College (2020), has photography works published in the Penn Review, poetry in Symbiosis, has published journalism pieces, and has sold her works of art to collectors. She welcomes you to visit her website at www.christineotis.com
Panel Presentations - (Included with Registration)
Bahir Nasiri presents Persian Poetry in Context
Ahmad “Bahir” Nasiri is a writer, poet, public speaker and influencer from Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2012, he received a BA in Persian Literature from Kabul University. In 2014 he was awarded the Young Successful Poets Award from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Information and Culture. This success opened many doors to advocate for the rights of youth which he pursued through in person and media engagements. Poetry, reading books and Dari (Persian) literature have been his longstanding interests. He is married to Bawra, a high school biology teacher and lives in Maryland outside DC. Bahir is fluent in five languages, which has allowed him to assist many evacuees during 2021-2022 along his journey from Afghanistan through Qatar, Germany and finally at Walter Reed where he also translated for many of the victims of the Abbey Gate bombing. He is from a land of struggle and has worked hard to raise the education level and instill a positive outlook for the young generation of his homeland. He is planning to pursue a career in motivational speaking in the United States.
Oscar Saavedra presents Poetry and Politics: Resisting Through the Vibrations of the Words That We Inhabit
Oscar Saavedra, born in Santiago, Chile, is a Latin American Poet and High School teacher who has dedicated his life to empower marginalized populations through the creative process of reading and writing poetry. He currently directs the nation-wide Chilean program “Descentralización Poética,” intended to make poetry accessible to the broader community. Other similar platforms he has created for young Chilean poets include include Escuelas de Poesía, Festival de Poesía en las Escuelas y punto.cl. He is also the lead editor of Andesground Editorial. He has been a guest to international poetry festivals in Colombia, Venezuela, China, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Mexico. His publications include Tecnopacha (Editorial Zignos, Chile, 2008,) Tecnopacha intervenido (La One Hit Wonder, Guayaquil, Ecuador, 2012,) Tecnopacha, (Desbordes, Chile, 2016,) Entre Montparnasse la Victoria, una familia y Asia (Editorial Casa de La Poesía, Costa Rica, 2018) and La primera calle (Editorial Municipalidad de Lima, Perú, 2020).
Susan de Sola Memorial with Moira Egan and Alex Pepple
A memorial panel celebrating the life and work of Susan de Sola.
Alexander Pepple founded and edits Able Muse and Able Muse Press, and also founded and directs the Eratosphere online workshop. His poetry and prose have been or will be published in Barrow Street, Hopkins Review, Rosebud, River Styx, American Arts Quarterly, Light, Think Journal, Euphony, Per Contra, Eclectica, Measure, and elsewhere. He edited the Able Muse Anthology (Able Muse Press, 2010).
Moira Egan’s most recent volume is Amore e Morte (Love and Death), a bilingual New & Selected Poems (Edizioni Tlon, Rome). Her work has been published in journals and anthologies on four continents. She teaches Creative Writing at St. Stephen’s School, Rome.
Pulkita Anand is an Assistant Professor of English at Shahid Chandrasekhar Govt. PG College, Jhabua (India). Her areas of research are Indian Writing in English, Gender Studies, and Afro-American literature. She is the author of two books. She loves to absorb life to the fullest. At times, she loves to write too. Her creative works have been published in various journals: Setu Journal, Indian Periodical, The Criterion, Twist and Twain, Tint Journal, Lite Lit One, Indian Ruminations, Langlit, Ashvamegha, Lapis Lazuli and WINC Magazine and among others. She has also been selected to be a featured poet in Madwomen in the Attic and Muse India.
Recovering instructor Crystal Hurdle, after teaching English and Creative Writing at Capilano University (North Vancouver) for 35 years, is reinventing herself in retirement by practicing yoga (wimpily), cycling (badly—joggers can pass her), tapestry weaving, and hand-building odd creatures with clay. After decades of attending beginners’ dance classes, most recently pow wow and jigging, she’d like to move up to intermediate but doubts such will happen in this lifetime. A self-confessed Plath and Hughes addict, she developed and taught two courses (creative writing and literature) in which their work figured prominently. Sick Witch (2020) and After Ted & Sylvia (2003) were published by Ronsdale Press. Teacher’s Pets, a teen novel in verse, was published by Tightrope Books in 2014, and is part of the 2020 North Shore Authors’ Collection in the public library system. Her work, poetry and prose, has been published nationally and internationally. She can be reached at https://crystalhurdle.ca
If Sonia Sanchez described the 17 syllable haiku as a “tough form disguised as beauty and insight”, then her created form, the 18 syllable sonku, unveils that beauty and requires honest insight. Its sparse syllables do not allow us to hide from ourselves or our readers. “Say it is So…” is a generative session where the intuitive magic of the sonku will be explored. Participants will respond to writing prompts, offered the opportunity to participate in an experimental sonku sonic sphere and emerge with at least one sonku affirmation to imagine the world they want to live in.Julia Mallory is an artist working with a range of medium from text to textiles. She is a six-time author, including two children’s books. Her latest book Survivor's Guilt, is an archive of survivorship that chronicles generational grief through photographs, poetry, and prose. In addition, they are the founder of the creative container, Black Mermaids, serves as the Senior Poetry Editor for Raising Mothers, and hosts the Stop Shrinking Socialcast.
Their writing and artwork can be found in Barrelhouse, The Offing, the Black Speculative Arts Movement exhibition "Curating the End of the World: RED SPRING”, Stellium Literary Magazine, MadameNoire and elsewhere. For more information, visit www.thejuliamallory.com
E. Maurice is a lover of language who teaches literature, creative writing, and fiber arts. She advocates for the inclusion of art in all facets of our lives, as it is universal and provides a space for creativity, wisdom, and understanding to take root and grow.