SAU Writers’ Forum includes distinguished lineup in new venue
Laurinburg, N.C. – The St. Andrews University Spring Writers’ Forum lineup includes the North Carolina Poet Laureate, the Presidential Inaugural Poet and an Emmy winner among award winning distinguished poets.
The Forum, which is free and open to the public, takes place Thursday evenings beginning at 8 p.m. This semester the Forum will primarily meet in Pate Main Lounge, with special events held in alternate locations.
The annual Brunnenburg Night Forum starts the semester off on Jan. 17. This special night allows students and faculty who participated in the fall semester study abroad program in Italy. Retired assistant professor of education Tony Cates was the faculty leader for the fall and will lead the event.
North Carolina Poet Laureate and longtime St. Andrews friend Joseph Bathanti will read on Jan. 24.
“Joseph Bathanti is an award-winning poet and novelist with a robust commitment to social causes,” said former Gov. Bev Perdue in naming Bathanti the seventh poet laureate. “He first came to North Carolina to work in the VISTA program and has taught writing workshops in prisons for 35 years. As North Carolina’s new Poet Laureate he plans to work with veterans to share their stories through poetry – a valuable and generous project.”
Distinguished poet John Hoppenthaler will read on Jan. 31. A two-term Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the Eastern Region of North Carolina, Hoppenthaler is an assistant professor in the Department of English in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University. His poetry has been widely published and he has received multiple arts grants over the years.
The first Open Mic of the spring takes place on Feb. 7. Open Mics are an opportunity for student and community writers to share poetry, prose and music. Those interested in sharing their work are asked to keep their selections to 5-7 minutes. Student host Vincent Pugh will maintain the sign up list for participants. Additional Open Mics are scheduled for Feb. 21, March 7 and April 11.
Noted poet, writer and translator Carlos Reyes will read Feb. 14. The 2007 winner of the Heinrich Boll Fellowship to write on Achill Island Ireland received the 2008 Ethel Fortner Writer and Community Award from St. Andrews. His 1995 A Suitcase Full of Crows was a Bluestem Prize winner and finalist for the 1996 Oregon Book Awards.
The 2013 Inauguration Poet Richard Blanco will read Feb. 28. According to inaugural committee spokeswoman Addie Whisenant, Blanco was personally selected by President Barack Obama because his “deeply personal poems are rooted in the idea of what it means to be an American.”
Blanco’s first book of poetry, City of a Hundred Fires, received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. His second book, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, won the Beyond the Margins Award from the PEN American Center. A third collection, Looking for The Gulf Motel, was published in 2012. His poems have appeared in top literary journals and he has been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things considered, Blanco is the recipient of two Florida Artist Fellowships, a Residency Fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and is a John Ciardi Fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.
After an Open Mic and Spring Break, the Forum will move to the Storytelling & Arts Center of the Southeast in downtown Laurinburg for The Storytelling Festival of Carolina on March 21. This is the second year St. Andrews will participate in the kickoff event that features teller in the olio program. The three-day festival will feature nationally renowned storytellers Bill Lepp, Willie Claflin, Rev. Robert B. Jones, Barbara McBride-Smith and Gwen Rainer.
After a break for Easter, the Forum returns to campus for a special reading on Monday, April 1 by Emmy Award winner Kwame Dawes.
Ghanaian-born Jamaican poet Dawes is the award-winning author of 16 books of poetry and numerous books of fiction, non-fiction, criticism and drama. He is the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and a Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. In 2009, Dawes won an Emmy for LiveHopeLove.com, an interactive site based on his Pulitzer Center project, HOPE: Living and loving with AIDS in Jamaica. It has also won other accolades including a People’s Voice Webby Award and was the inspiration for the music/spoken word performance Wisteria & HOPE, which premiered at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. Dawes also won The Forward Prize for Poetry for his first book Progeny of Air.
The annual Ethel N. Fortner Writer and Community Award and the Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award will be presented at a special ceremony on April 4. Former Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle will receive the Fortner Award while noted potter Mark Hewett will receive the Ragan Award.
After an April 11 Open Mic, the Forum will conclude for spring semester with the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Central Region reading in DeTamble Library as part of National Library Week. Central Region Distinguished-Poet Ann Deagon will share her own works while also introducing the works of the three student poets she mentored beginning in December.
About St. Andrews University
St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. St. Andrews has added a first graduate level program with a Masters in Business Administration. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.