ARCHIVED: Largest Free Poetry Festival in New York at Sarah Lawrence College April 24–26

The , the largest free poetry festival in New York State, will be held Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26, in the Heimbold Visual Arts Center and Slonim House on the Sarah Lawrence College campus.

Organized entirely by students, the Festival has been embraced by the New York literary community. The annual, weekend-long Festival features both daytime and evening readings by distinguished poets such as Pulitzer prize winners Rita Dove and CK Williams, as well as innovative student work. This event is free and open to the public. For more information  please contact College Events at (914) 395-2412 or email collegeevents@sarahlawrence.edu.  Additional information is available online at: http://www.slc.edu/poetry-festival/.

According to Rebekah Sankey, graduate student and head of the organizing committee, “The Sarah Lawrence College Poetry Festival speaks to the relationship between one generation of poets and the next…much like a paper chain of poets linked together.”  Undergraduate poet and fellow organizer, John Powell agrees. “The Festival is an opportunity for students to experience readings from the work of the poets they study and admire,” he states. “It offers many topics of discussion and contemplation.”

On Friday, April 24, the kickoff event will run from 7 to 10 p.m. and feature readings by poets Cynthia Cruz and Linda Gregg, and an Open Mic presentation. Graduate students from Sarah Lawrence have been working with students from area high schools and created a contest which allowed the students to submit their work to the Festival.  Winning entries were chosen by the organizers and the student-poets will read along with the professional poets.

The events on Saturday, April 25 take place from 1 to 10 p.m. and will include readings by prominent poets Matthew Dickman, Michael Dickman, Mark Doty, Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar, Anais Mitchell, Kevin Pilkington, Valzhyna Mort, Mary Ruefle, and CK Williams as well as a reception featuring graphic art inspired by and connected to poetry.

Events on Sunday, April 26 are scheduled from 1 to 7 p.m. and include a panel discussion and readings by award-winning poets Rita Dove, Jorie Graham, María Negroni, Dennis Nurkse, Tom Sleigh, and Mark Yakich. The evening will also include the launch party for the 2009 edition of Lumina , the Sarah Lawrence College graduate literary journal.

“The SLC Poetry Festival actively searches for poets from inside and outside expected artistic circles. Not only does the Festival thrive because of our celebrated guest readers,” said Christopher Faroe, undergraduate student and organizing committee member, “but it also features cross-genre talent by artists like poet and singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell, a fresh, politically-minded musician on Ani DiFranco's record label and poetry in Spanish and English by SLC's own María Negroni who was recently awarded the Premio Internacional de Ensayo by one of the leading publishing houses in Latin America.”