Thursday January 25, 2007

Politics and Poetry

This year's LitFest features two award-winning poets.

Two pioneering voices of the black arts and Africana studies movements — one of whom also is a former Daytonian — will participate in the University of Dayton's annual LitFest.

Poet, teacher and community activist Askia Touré will discuss "Poetry and Black Liberation: Freedom's Furious Passions" at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, in Sears Recital Hall in the Jesse Philips Humanities Center on UD's campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.  

Touré, a 1956 graduate of Dayton's Roosevelt High School, is an internationally published poet and the author of five books, including "From the Pyramids to the Projects," which won the 1989 American Book Award for Literature. In 1996, Touré was awarded the Gwendolyn Brooks Lifetime Achievement award from the Gwendolyn Brooks Institute in Chicago. His collection of poetry "Dawnsong!" (2000) was awarded the Stephen Henderson Poetry Award from the African-American Literature and Culture Society.

Everett Hoagland, award-winning poet and professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, will read his poetry at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at ArtStreet, located on the corner of Lawnview Avenue and Kiefaber Street in the student neighborhood. The reading is free and open to the public.  

Hoagland has received the Gwendolyn Brooks Award for fiction and two Massachusetts Council Fellowships for Poetry.

From 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at ArtStreet, English faculty and graduate students from universities across the nation will offer academic and creative workshops on subjects related to the conference's theme, "Politics and Poetry: Words and Movement."

Also, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at ArtStreet, area poets and professors will lead concurrent workshops on teaching and writing poetry. Later that day, the Dayton Poetry Slam will be held at 9 p.m. in the Kennedy Union Pub on UD's campus. The slam costs $5 at the door.

For a detailed LitFest schedule and to register for the workshops, which are free and open to the public, go to http://academic.udayton.edu/english/LitFest/.

For media interviews, contact UD English professor and LitFest coordinator Rebecca Potter at (937) 229-3440 or via e-mail at rebecca.potter@notes.udayton.edu.