Thursday, September 1, 2011

Decatur Book Festival: Poets on the Square

One of the benefits of a book festival is the opportunity to see writers out of their natural habitat of the writing room and in public view -- readings and discussion groups offer writers and festival-goers the chance to explore creative ideas and discover new audiences beyond the printed word.

This is especially true of poets and poetry. While the internet and the growth of digital publishing have made it easier for poets to get the word out, finding an audience remains as elusive as ever. The Decatur Book Festival has scheduled a variety of readings and discussions featuring local and national poets -- an opportunity to meet the people behind the poetry and hear their words read aloud.

Here is just a sampling of this weekend's festival appearances. The poetry page gives a full list of poets. For details about other events, visit the Decatur Book Festival website.

Thomas Lux


Sad Friends and Pretty Little Rooms, Saturday, 11:15 at Eddie's Attic Stage

Poets In Conversation , Saturday, 5:30 at The Old Courthouse

Thomas Lux was born in Massachusetts in December 1946. He has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1994, he was awarded the Kinglsey Tufts Poetry Award for his book Split Horizon. The most recent of his 11 full-length collections is God Particles (Houghton Mifflin, 2008). Currently, he is Bourne Professor of Poetry and director of the McEver Visiting Writers program at the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as on the M.F.A. faculties of Sarah Lawrence College and Warren Wilson College.


Sad Friends and Pretty Little Rooms, Saturday, 11:15 at Eddie's Attic Stage

The Book of Men, and Blue Rust , Saturday, 1:45 at City Hall Stage

Katie Chaple is the author of the collection of poems, Pretty Little Rooms. She has been awarded a Visiting McEver Chair in Poetry from Poetry@TECH. as well as residencies from Bread Loaf and the Vermont Studio Center. She is currently the editor of Terminus magazine and teaches poetry and writing at the University of West Georgia.


Cool Limbo, Sunday, 1:15 at Eddie's Attic Stage

Michael Montlack, Sunday, 5:00 at Local Poetry Stage

Michael Montlack is the author of the poetry collection Cool Limbo (New York Quarterly Books, 2011) and three chapbooks: Cover Charge (winner of the 2007 Gertrude Competition); Girls, Girls, Girls (Pudding House, 2008); and The Slip (Poets Wear Prada, 2009). He is also the editor of the Lambda-nominated essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin, 2009). He splits his time between New York City, where he teaches at Berkeley College, and San Francisco. Currently he is at work on his first novel.

Jennifer Grotz


On the Cusp of Rainy Country: Two Poets , Saturday, 10:00 at The Old Courthouse

Jennifer Grotz is a poet and translator who teaches at the University of Rochester and serves as the assistant director of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her newest book of poems, The Needle, was published this year by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Jump-Start Your Engines Poetry Workshop, Friday, 4:00 at Buttrick Hall A

Please: Poetry , Saturday, 3:00 at Eddie's Attic Stage

Is There a Queer Eye?, Sunday, 5:00 at The Old Courthouse

Jericho Brown is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland. Brown is an Assistant Professor at the University of San Diego. His poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, jubilat, Oxford American, A Public Space, and 100 Best African American Poems. His first book, Please (New Issues), won the American Book Award.


Sad Friends and Pretty Little Rooms, Saturday, 11:15 at Eddie's Attic Stage

Poets In Conversation , Saturday, 5:30 at The Old Courthouse

Chard deNiord is the author of four books of poetry, The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), Night Mowing (The University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), Sharp Golden Thorn (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003) and Asleep in the Fire (University of Alabama Press, 1990). His book of essays and interviews with seven senior American poets titled Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs, Conversations and Reflections on Twentieth Century Poets is scheduled to appear from Marick Press in August of 2011. He is the cofounder of the New England College MFA Program in Poetry and an associate professor of English at Providence College. He lives in Putney, VT.

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