Syracuse Symposium, a two-month series presented by SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, will celebrate the power of poetry
Syracuse Symposium, a two-month series presented by SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, will celebrate the power of poetryFebruary 20, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences will present the 2001 Syracuse Symposium, “Poetry: Moving Language, Language Moving,” a two-month series of events designed to celebrate the power, exuberance and delight of poetry–from Homer to Hardy to hip hop and everything in between–beginning March 1. “When you recall the lyrics of a favorite song, that’s you–listening to poetry, moving to it,” says Eric Holzwarth, assistant dean in The College of Arts and Sciences. “Hip hop, Hallmark, Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss–we grow up on poetry, express our deepest feelings in it, buy and sell products with it. It’s in our religious services, our operas, musicals, dance and other performances. Through the symposium, we plan to share some poetry with the University and Syracuse communities, and have people in those communities share some poetry with us.” The symposium will feature presentations by well-known poets (including two U.S. Poet Laureates), songwriters and a hip hop artist; a poetry contest; a poetry slam; poetry readings; an exploration of text and music; and book signings. All of the events are free and, except for one seminar, open to the public. Stephen Dunn, author of 11 collections of poetry, including the recently released “Different Hours” (W.W. Norton & Company, 2000), will kick off the symposium with a presentation at 7:30 p.m. March 1 in Maxwell Auditorium. Dunn is a Trustee Fellow in Arts and professor of creative writing at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. In 1995, he received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his other awards are the Levinson Award from Poetry magazine and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Other symposium speakers scheduled: – Rita Dove, 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate of the United States, and consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995, will speak at 7:30 p.m. March 7 in Grant Auditorium. Dove has published seven collections of poetry, a book of short stories, a novel, a collection of essays and a play, “The Darker Face of the Earth,” which had its world premiere in 1996 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and was subsequently produced at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Royal National Theatre in London, among other theatres. Dove’s numerous awards include the 1996 Heinz Award, the 1996 Charles Frankel Prize/National Humanities Medal, the 1997 Sara Lee Frontrunner Award and the 2000 Library Lion Medal from the New York Public Library. – Author, poet and screenwriter Sherman Alexie will speak at 7:30 p.m. March 20 in Grant Auditorium. A Native American of Spokane/Coeur d’Alene heritage from Wellpinit, Wash., Alexie was described as “one of the major lyric voices of our time” by The New York Times Book Review, which selected Alexie’s first book, “The Business of Fancydancing,” as a 1992 Notable Book of the Year. That same year, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. He won the World Heavyweight Championship Poetry Bout at the Taos Poetry Circus in 1998, 1999 and 2000, and is the first poet in the event’s history to hold the title three consecutive years. – Keith Flynn, poet, songwriter and musician (alternative rock), will read with poet Joe Weile at 7:30 p.m. March 22 in the Kilian Room, Room 500 of the Hall of Languages. Flynn is the founder and managing editor of The Asheville Poetry Review and performs in the nationally acclaimed rock band Crystal Zoo, which has produced three albums, including the forthcoming “Nervous Splendor.” He was twice awarded the Emerging Songwriter Prize from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, in 1991 and 1992. He is the author of three collections of poetry, the latest being “The Lost Sea” (Iris Press, 2000). – Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, poetry editor of the online journal Slate and a contributor to PBS’ “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” will speak at 7:30 p.m. March 28 in Grant Auditorium. His presentation is open to SU students, faculty and staff only, in consideration of a later scheduled appearance May 9 at the John H. Mulroy Civic Center in downtown Syracuse. The author of eight books, Pinsky has won numerous awards for his writing–including the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union, the Saxifrage Prize and the 1985 William Carlos Williams Prize of the Poetry Society of America–and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Other events that are scheduled for the symposium: – A Poetry Slam will take place at 7:30 p.m. March 23 at Perc Place in the Schine Student Center. The event will be hosted by performance poet Sean Dougherty, with poets Michelle Courtney Berry, Patrick Lawler (associate professor of environmental studies at SUNY ESF) and Michele Battiste. – A Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in The College of Arts and Sciences will award a $500 prize for the best poem by an undergraduate student, graduate student, and faculty or staff member. Deadline for submissions is March 9. Students may pick up contest guidelines in the Department of English, Room 401 of the Hall of Languages. Faculty and staff may pick up the guidelines in the Associate Dean’s Office for Curriculum, Instruction and Programs, Room 441 of the Hall of Languages.