Baylor University’s Department of English Welcomes Literary Greats to Beall Poetry Festival

Beall 2015
March 23, 2015

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (March 23, 2015) – Baylor University’s department of English in the College of Arts & Sciences will welcome renowned poets to the 21st annual Beall Poetry Festival from Wednesday, March 25, to Friday, March 27.

This three-day celebration of contemporary poetry will feature readings, a panel discussion and the Virginia Beall Ball Lecture on poetry.

“The purpose of the festival is to expose Baylor and the Waco community to poetry and person ̶ poetry as it’s spoken, chanted and sung,” said Richard Russell, Ph.D., professor of English and director of the Beall Poetry Festival. “And since National Poetry Month is coming up in April, this is a chance for people to see how truly wonderful poetry can be.”

All events will take place in Bennett Auditorium unless otherwise signified. The schedule of events is follows.

Wednesday, March 25

3:30 p.m. Student Literary Awards in Carroll Science 101

7 p.m. Terrence Hayes Poetry Reading

Hayes, author of the National Book Award for Poetry-winning “Lighthead,” considers themes of popular culture, race, music and masculinity in his poetry. He has been awarded fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Thursday, March 26

3:30 p.m. Neil Corcoran, “Robert Graves and Contemporary Poetry”

Corcoran, an honorary research fellow and Emeritus Professor at the University of Liverpool, has published widely on the subject of British and Irish poetry. In addition, he has reviewed a multitude of contemporary poets.

7 p.m. Susan Wheeler Poetry Reading

Wheeler, author of the Norma Faber First Book Award-winning “Bag o’ Diamonds,” produces poetry noted for its sonic and lyric intensity and surrealist imagery. She has won many awards throughout her career, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Friday, March 27

3:30 p.m. Panel Discussion in Carroll Science 101

7 p.m. Simon Armitage Poetry Reading

Armitage, an English poet, playwright and novelist, is known for his deadpan delivery and often darkly comic poetry. He is the author of numerous poetry collections and fictional works, and he has written for radio, television, film and theater. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for Literature and was named Millennium poet in 1999. In 2010, he was named a Commander of the British Empire.

“All of our guests are really compelling readers in public,” Russell said. “The festival will be fun, engaging and appealing to students.”

The festival is supported by the John A. and DeLouise McClelland Beall Endowed Fund, established in 1994 by Virginia B. Ball to honor her parents and to encourage the writing and appreciation of poetry.

All events are free and open to the public. Carroll Science Building is located at 1401 S. Fifth St., and Bennett Auditorium is located inside the Draper Academic Building at 1420 S. Seventh St.

For more information about The Beall Poetry Festival, contact the department of English at 254-710-1768 or click here.

by Ashton Brown, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 24 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit

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