West Chester University’s Virtual Poetry and Creative Arts Festival: April 6 - 10Cornelius Eady Trio

Students, teachers, poets, and all who are interested in poetry from around the world, are invited to attend West Chester University’s Virtual Poetry and Creative Arts Festival from April 6 – 10, 2022. General registration is $75 and includes a one-day workshop with the option to add additional workshops and programs. Information and registration options found here: https://www.wcupa.edu/arts-humanities/poetry/forms/craftVirtual  

The theme of the festival is Breakthrough: Invigorating Creative Practices. The festival, moved to April in 2020, aligns with National Poetry Month and West Chester University’s academic calendar. It offers a wide variety of programming to attract a diverse group of people from well-established poets to beginners, students, and faculty.

Director of the Poetry Center Cherise Pollard says, “The goal of West Chester University’s Poetry Center is to make poetry accessible and relevant to everyone. We gained an international audience with our virtual events these last two years, and we want to continue to grow and serve this audience, as we simultaneously celebrate the Poetry Center's community and honor our mission that focuses on the study of craft.”

Workshops are offered on a variety of topics and hosted by workshop leaders who are all published poets of national and international renown. Examples include: Rhyme and Hamilton with Natalie Gerber; Juliana Gray and George Green present Reel Verse: Ekphrastic Poems with the Spotlight on Movies; Jane Satterfield and Ned Balbo present The Echoing Green: Poems of the Living World; Jacob Camacho presents Kindred Crafting: How We Respond to the World. See full schedule here: https://www.wcupa.edu/arts-humanities/poetry/documents/craftSchedule22-2.pdf

 A highlight of the event is the annual Iris N. Spencer Poetry Award Ceremony, held virtually on Wednesday, April 6 at 2:30 p.m., which recognizes excellence in poetry for undergraduate students from around the country with cash prizes.

This year’s Keynote Speaker is poet, playwright and songwriter Cornelius Eady. Eady is Professor of English and the John C. Hodges Chair of Excellence in Poetry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 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.

Eady will perform for the festival live from New York City with the Cornelius Eady Trio on Friday, April 8 at 7 p.m. Guitarist Lisa Liu and Charlie Rauh use Eady’s poetry, set to music, as Eady sings his words in the styles of Folk and Americana. More information at https://corneliuseadytrio.com/home.

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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