Sarasota Poetry Festival events to come

From April 14-18, New College and University of South Florida – Sarasota Manatee (USFSM) will collaborate to hold the 2015 Sarasota Poetry Festival. The festival will celebrate National Poetry Month with a slew of events including games, open mics and performances.

“An amazing array of ideas came out of the initial planning meeting, one event turned into five, and the festival was born,” Theresa Burress, New College librarian said in an email interview. Burress got the idea for the festival after the success of the African American Read-In last February. “I started looking for an opportunity to bring faculty and students from both NCF and USFSM together.”

A planning committee of 11 students, including two from USFSM, as well as English faculty from both colleges, is already expecting the festival to be an annual event. Open mics are planned on the USFSM campus and at Jane Bancroft Cook (JBC) Library, and all community members are welcome to attend and read their favorite poems.

On April 16, Writer in Residence Micheal Tod Edgerton, author of “Vitreous Hide” will be joined by Jaswinder Bolina, University of Miami Professor of Creative Writing and author of “Carrier Wave,” “Phantom Camera,” and the digital chapbook, “The Tallest Building in America.” The poets will read poems from their collections and the performance will be followed by a Q&A session.

“Jaswinder Bolina’s poetry is both personable and challenging, welcoming and estranging, and I think it will be a fantastic opportunity for students to experience this poet’s work, who is a part of our larger southern Florida community,” Edgerton said.

The Festival will culminate in a unique poetry-themed scavenger hunt, deemed #poemplay, with challenges and adventures on the bay side of campus. Teams of up to four people may compete for Four Winds gift cards and a copy of Edgerton’s book.

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