Festival to welcome poet laureates

The university’s English department will host its annual Writer’s Festival over the Christmas break.

The event is scheduled for Jan. 7-10 and is open to students, faculty, staff and the community.

This year’s schedule features a variety of events, which will take place in Brindley Auditorium, with a coffee house and an open mic night on Wednesday evening.

The festival will include  numerous writers like Alan Berecka, Brady Peterson, and Jeanne Murray Walker, who will speak on different topics.

Walker is an award-winning poet, with a diverse number of plays under her belt. For 20 years, she worked as an editor of poetry for Christianity and Literature. She now works for both Shenandoah and Image on the editorial boards.

Walker will lead a master poetry workshop during the festival and give the George Nixon Memorial Lecture on Thursday in Brindley Auditorium.

Additionally, key speakers will include Texas Poet Laureate, Larry Thomas, and past Texas Poet Laureate, Cleatus Rattan.

Thomas has been writing poetry since the ’70s and had his first book published in 2000. He has completed six more since then.

Rattan was the poet laureate during 2004 and is a professor of English at UMHB.

Still on the Hill, made up of Donna Stjerna and Kelly Mulhollan, will be returning to coach their workshop. Last year, they offered an afternoon workshop and played an evening performance entitled Gathering Paradise, sponsored by the Honors Program.

This time around, Still on the Hill will be taking phrases and lines of poetry from those who attend, and will transform them into songs. The duo will also perform a full concert Friday evening after dinner.
Art Professor Helen Kwiatkowski will teach an art workshop.

Held in the Mabee Student Center, her workshop will train participants how to use visual elements to tell stories. Using a style known as visual narrative, she welcomes anyone, whether or not they have had experience in the field.

Kwiatkowski hopes that the festival will instruct readers to think outside the box and break the boundaries of their imagination.

The cost to register for the entire festival is $100. This includes all readings, workshops, refreshments and dinner.

To come for just one day, the cost is $40, and individual events are $20. The event is free for UMHB students. Some scholarships are available.

More information about the festival is available from Dr. Audell Shelburne at ext. 4561 or contact him at ashelburne@umhb.edu.

Author: The Bells Staff

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