Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Lake Forest College Poetrypalooza

Image of Hotchkiss Hall on the Lake Forest College campus, where most of the events listed below will take place.

Poetrypalooza! That's my secret alternative name for the Fifth Annual Lake Forest Literary Festival, scheduled next week as an extremely rich appetizer for the AWP conference taking place in downtown Chicago that weekend. We have a heckuva line-up of great poetry scheduled, with an special emphasis on performance, hypermedia, and poetry off the page. Click the link or read on for an annotated schedule of events.

Monday, February 9

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Reading by the members of the Lake Forest College Writing Club.
Come hear what our students have been up to, creative writing-wise.

Tuesday, February 10

Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Reading/performance by computer artist and poet Stephanie Strickland.
This should represent an extraordinary collision of hypermedia and the numinous (her latest book, The Red Virgin, is about the French feminist poet and philosopher Simone Weil).

8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Reading by Jessica Savitz, our first Madeleine P. Plonsker Writer in Residence
Jessica's manuscript of poems, Hunting Is Painting, won the first prize ever to be awarded, and it's an auspicious debute: a strange and marvelous exploration of the boundaries between animality and art. It will be published by Lake Forest College Press / &NOW Books.

Wednesday, February 11

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Gnoetry, a Chicago-based collective that explores collaborations between poets and computer programmers, demonstrates their work.
Should be very entertaining as the Gnoets take cues from the audience to create a computer-assisted poem right then and there.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Lake Forest College Student Sound Cabaret performs, followed by a reading by Artist-in-Residence Christian Bök in Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel.
The keynote event of the festival and a must-see (or rather, must-hear).

Thursday, February 12

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Panel discussion by Festival participants.

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Three younger poets—Brian Teare, Karen Leona Anderson, and Richard Greenfield—will read from their work in Meyer Auditorium.
These three poets are all under 40 and have all written extraordinary first books:

- Brian Teare’s The Room Where I Was Born won the Triangle Award for Gay Poetry and his new book, Sight Map is due out this month from University of California Press.
- Karen Leona Anderson’s forthcoming first book, Punish Honey, mixes lyricism with scientific investigation.
- Richard Greenfield’s A Carnage in the Love-trees was named a Top Ten University Press Book by BookSense in 2003. His highly anticipated second book, Tracer, is forthcoming from Omnidawn.

All festival events are free and open to the public and take place on the Middle Campus of Lake Forest College in Meyer Auditorium, Hotchkiss Hall. (The exception is the Wednesday night performance by the Sound Cabaret and Christian Bök, which will take place in the Chapel.) The festival has been made possible by the support of the Lake Forest College Department of English, the Dean of the Faculty, the Artist-in-Residence Committee, the Center for Chicago Programs, and the American Studies Program.

Hoping to see you there! And if not, perhaps I'll see you at or around AWP the following weekend.

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