October 28, 2021

West Chester University’s Poetry Center to Host Two Public Events This FallAnnie Finch

West Chester University’s Poetry Center will host two public events this fall for poets and teachers of poetry. On November 2 at 7 p.m., award-winning poet and writer Annie Finch will do a LIVE public reading in the Philips Autograph Library, Philips Memorial Building, 700 S. High Street, West Chester. No registration is necessary.  From November 11 – 13, 2021, the conference Transformation: Evolving Approaches to Teaching, Poetry and the Natural World will take place virtually. Information and registration for the conference found at: https://www.wcupa.edu/arts-humanities/poetry/poetryConference.aspx

Finch is the author of seven books of poetry including Eve, Calendars, Among the Goddesses, and Spells: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press.) Finch’s poetry has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The New York Times, and The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Her books about poetry include The Body of Poetry and A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry.  Annie holds a Ph.D from Stanford University and teaches online classes on poetry at anniefinch.com and in Poetry Witch Community. She is passionate about helping bring the pleasure and power of rhythm and meter back into poetry.

Anna Lena Phillips BellTransformation: Evolving Approaches to Teaching, Poetry and the Natural World will feature workshop leaders, presenters and panelists of international renown who will offer new approaches to teaching poetry with a focus on the natural world.

WCU Poetry Center Director Cherise Pollard says, “During the lockdown, many of us became even more aware of our symbiotic relationship with nature. Being on perpetual stay-cation inspired some to garden. Breaking away from commuting and routines helped all of us to appreciate the impact of our carbon footprint. Unexpected opportunities to socialize outdoors inspired us to reset our relationship with the more-than-human world. Returning to face-to-face instruction gives us the opportunity to use this awareness to shape our approach to teaching poetry.”

The keynote speaker and featured reader is Anna Lena Phillips Bell. She is the author of Ornament, winner of the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, A Pocket Book of Forms, a fine-press guide to poetic forms, and the chapbook Smaller Songs, from St. Brigid Press. Her poems appear in journals including the Southern Review, the Sewanee Review, 32 Poems, and Subtropics, and in anthologies including A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing within the Anthropocene, and Gracious: Poems from the 21st Century South. She has served since 2013 as the editor of Ecotone, the award-winning literary magazine of place, and is an editor of Lookout Books and a contributing editor for American Scientist magazine. The recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in literature, she is the 2019–2022 Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for eastern North Carolina. She teaches in the creative writing department at UNC Wilmington, and calls ungendered Appalachian square dances in North Carolina and beyond.

The West Chester University Poetry Center offers a variety of programs and activities that help expand its mission of bringing poetry to an ever-widening audience. Since its inception in 2000, the goals of the Poetry Center have remained consistent: furthering the study and appreciation of poetry, providing the nation's finest instruction in the diverse traditional techniques of poetry, providing an international forum for the discussion of poetic form and prosody, training teachers in the art of teaching poetry and poetic form, and fostering the necessary dialogue between practicing poets and critics in a culture that too often separates them. The Poetry Center also recognizes poetic achievement through the Iris N. Spencer Awards, which celebrate emerging poets at the undergraduate level, and through the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, which goes to an unpublished book-length collection of poems.


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