Beall Poetry Festival Welcomes Renowned Contemporary Poets to Campus

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March 30, 2013

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WACO, Texas (March 28, 2013)--The 19th annual Beall Poetry Festival, a four-day celebration of some of the finest contemporary poetry, will feature five renowned poets. The events, which are free and open to the public, will run Wednesday, April 3, through Saturday, April 6, on the Baylor University campus.

Festival events will include a panel discussion, poetry readings and the Virginia Beall Ball Lecture on contemporary poetry.

Wednesday

The festival will begin with the 2013 student literary awards at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in Room 101 of Carroll Science Building, 1401 S. Fifth St.

Thursday

Bobby C. Rogers, professor of English and writer in residence at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., will give a poetry reading at 3:30 p.m. Kayser Auditorium, Hankamer School of Business.

Rogers is author of the collection of poems "Paper Anniversary," which won the 2009 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Image, Southwest Review and other literary journals and magazines. Rogers's other awards and honors include the Greensboro Review Literary Prize in Poetry and three nominations for a Pushcart Prize.

Following the poetry reading, Henry Hart, Mildred and J.B. Hickman Professor of English and Humanities at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., will present the Virginia Beall Ball Lecture in Contemporary Poetry at 7 p.m. in Kayser Auditorium in Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, 1428 S. Fifth St.

A distinguished literary critic, biographer, essayist, book reviewer, editor and poet, Hart is the author of James Dickey: The World as a Lie, a biography of the poet that was runner-up for the Southern Book Critics' Circle Award.

Hart was the recipient of the 2010 Carole Weinstein Prize in Poetry, awarded each year to a poet with strong connections to the Commonwealth in Virginia.

Friday

Tracy K. Smith, assistant professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, will give a poetry reading at 3:30 p.m. in Kayser Auditorium.

Smith's most recent collection of poems, "Life on Mars," won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her other books of poetry are "Duende" and "The Body's Question," which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African-American poet.

At 7 p.m. James Fenton, political journalist, drama critic, book reviewer, war correspondent and columnist, will give a poetry reading in Kayser Auditorium.

Fenton served as poetry professor at Oxford University from 1994 to 1999. Fenton has collected and published several works including his work in "Yellow Tulips: Poems 1968-2011," "Out of Danger," "The Memory of War," "Children in Exile, and more. Fenton has been awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2007 and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry in 1994. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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