Friday March 30, 2007

Poetry: Chapbooks to Slams

From a centuries-old tradition of small, inexpensive books to contemporary slams, LitFest, an annual one-day literary festival at the University of Dayton, will explore the art of poetry with readings and discussions on April 14.

Chapbooks – small, inexpensive books no more than 25 pages long – are the focus of this year's LitFest, with free, public readings from two award-winning poets known for their chapbook work.

Poet, librarian and editor Fred Kirchner will read from Platform of an Unacknowledged World Legislator at 4 p.m., Saturday, April 14, in Marianist Hall.

Kirchner is outreach services children's librarian for the Dayton Metro Library, and drives a 34-foot bookmobile to schools and daycare centers. He also serves as associate editor for Pudding House Publications in Johnstown, Ohio. His chapbook, Platform of an Unacknowledged World Legislator won the 2005 Main Street Rag Chapbook Competition. His poetry has appeared in Haz Mat; Talking Leaves: A Journal of Our Evolving Ecological Culture and two Pudding House anthologies Crude: Poems at the End of the Age of Oil and Cap City Poets.

Poet, world-traveler and teacher Henry Oso Quintero will read his poetry from The Animal People at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 14, in Marianist Hall.

Quintero teaches gifted Chicano and Native American students at ChicanIndio in Phoenix. He is pursuing a doctorate in Native American literature and song at Arizona State University. He recently traveled to India and Estonia, where he read poetry for a Native Peoples Congress. His poetry has appeared in the Antioch Review and the South Ash Press, and he published Eight Buffalo Hides are the Parchment of my Life: Poetry and Songs of Borderlands and Action. in Hayden's Ferry Review.

Two workshops will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Studio B and Studio C at ArtStreet. During the first workshop, Quintero will discuss "The Ritual of Poetry." In the second workshop, Kirchner and Kathleen Burgess will discuss "Dirty Little Secrets: Persona Poems, Lies, Self Revelation." From 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Studio C at ArtStreet, Burgess, Stacia Fleegal, Jessie Janeshek and Wanda Huber will read selections of their poetry.

Later in the day nationally-recognized slammers will compete during the poetry slam at 9 p.m. in Victoria W. Kettering Hall. The slam costs $5 at the door.

For information, contact UD English professor and LitFest coordinator Rebecca Potter at 937-229-3440 or rebecca.potter@notes.udayton.edu.