Poetry festival open to community members

Poetry festival open to community members
The University of South Dakota extends an invitation for area students and residents to explore their creative side as The Vermillion Literary Project (VLP) hosts its annual poetry festival on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Most of the scheduled events will take place on campus and will offer participants the opportunity to write poetry during morning and afternoon workshops led by featured professional writers, attend a noontime reading of poetry by these writers, attend a talk on performing and publishing poetry and attend (and possibly participate in) an evening poetry slam, a competition for poets.

Participation of featured writers Jim Coppoc and Pen Pearson are made possible by a Speakers Bureau grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; by the College of Arts and Sciences; by the Department of English; and by the VLP.

The workshop fees for the general public are $15 for both workshops or $10 for one workshop. USD students with a current student ID will pay a single registration fee of $5 which will allow them to attend both of the workshops. The noon reading, 4 p.m. talk and evening poetry slam are free and open to the public. The postmark deadline for on-time workshop registration is Feb. 17, with an additional $5 for late registration.

For more information, including a full schedule of events and printable registration form, visit the VLP Poetry Festival website at www. usd.edu/orgs/projlit/poetryfestival or stop by Dakota Hall room 212 at USD. Lodging info, maps, and other festival details are also available on the website. Further questions can be directed to Michelle Rogge Gannon at mrogge @usd.edu or call 605-677-5229.

Coppoc is an award-winning teacher, writer performer and lecturer in English at Iowa State University; and special projects coordinator for Iowa State's Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities. In addition to his creative and scholarly efforts, Coppoc has spent most of his life exploring the many media of performance art, having worked as musician, actor, stand-up comic, a network radio D.J. and performance poet.

Pearson, an assistant professor of English at Northern State University in Aberdeen, teaches creative writing and other courses. Pearson launched and currently directs "A Writer Reads Series," which brings two or more creative writers annually to read on NSU's campus.

She has published poetry in a variety of literary journals.

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