West Chester University’s Poetry Center Announces Fall Readings and Events
Applications are now being accepted for the coveted Donald Justice Poetry Prize
West Chester University’s Poetry Center will host several public events this fall for poets, and lovers and teachers of poetry. On October 3 at 7:30 p.m., award-winning poet and writer Annie Finch begins her WCU Poet-in-Residence tenure with a FREE public reading. She’ll end her residency with another FREE public reading on Wednesday, November 2 at 4:30 p.m. Both take place in the Philips Autograph Library, Philips Memorial Building, 700 S. High Street, West Chester.
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. Finch holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and teaches online classes on poetry at www.anniefinch.com and in Poetry Witch Community. She is passionate about helping bring the pleasure and power of rhythm and meter back into poetry.
Other poetry events this fall include the virtual poetry conference on November 11 and 12 for educators titled The Dramatic I/Eye: Reflections on Voice and Form in Contemporary Poetry. The conference features keynote speaker Alexis Sears, along with workshop leaders, presenters, and panelists of international renown, who will offer new approaches to teaching poetry. Registration opens on October 1 at: www.wcupa.edu/poetry.
The keynote speaker for the virtual conference, Alexis Sears, is a graduate of the MFA program in poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her bachelor degree from Johns Hopkins University in Writing Seminars. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Cortland Review, Hopkins Review, Cimarron Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She was a 2019 Sewanee Writers’ Conference MFA scholar, and she was a finalist for the Vassar Miller and New Criterion poetry prizes. Sears's debut collection, Out of Order, was the winner of the 2021 Donald Justice Prize, published by Autumn House Press in 2022.
Applications are now being accepted for the coveted Donald Justice Poetry Prize, a $1,500 prize awarded to an unpublished, original book-length collections of poems. The winner of the prize will have their manuscript published by Autumn House Press. The judge for the prize is Mark Jarman, who is also the keynote speaker for this year’s Poetry & Creative Arts Festival, taking place June 9 – 11, 2023, on West Chester University’s campus.
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.