Thursday, March 19, 2009

Washington College, KC Arts Council Present Second Annual Kent County Poetry Festival

Chestertown, MD — Washington College and the Kent County Arts Council will present the second annual "Kent County Poetry Festival: A Day of Public Poetry in Celebration of National Poetry Month" at the Book Plate, 112 South Cross Street, on Friday, April 3, from 4 to 7 p.m.

People from throughout the county will gather to read aloud their favorite lines from the world of verse—a reminder that poetry, rather than being some rarefied specimen, is in fact a vital, living art with many facets and widespread appeal.

Sign-up sheets for festival participation have been posted at various locations throughout the county, and advance sign-up is requested; persons interested in participating also may e-mail to become part of the readers' roster.

"This program is in the spirit of the 'Favorite Poem Project' pioneered by Robert Pinsky when he was Poet Laureate of the United States," said Christopher Ames, Provost and Dean of Washington College.

"The goal is to bring together diverse peoples in our community around the poetry people know and love to share and, in doing so, debunk the idea that poetry is just something for academics to study. During National Poetry Month, we want to illustrate the role that poetry can have in enriching our everyday lives."

Last year was the festival's debut, and it was well attended by a diverse community of poetry lovers. People are welcome to just come listen or participate by reading a favorite poem.

Robert Earl Price, lecturer and writer in residence in the Drama Department at Washington College, is the organizer of the project. Price is an accomplished poet and playwright who has recently moved to Chestertown from Atlanta. His most recent book of poems is Wise Blood, published by Snake Nation Press.

Price studied screenwriting at the American Film Institute and has written for television and film, but his primary writing has been for the stage. Recently produced plays include "Blue Monk," which was part of the Atlanta Cultural Olympiad, "HUSH: Composing Blind Tom Wiggins" and "Come On in My Kitchen." Price's most recent play, "The Golden Sardine," tells the story of legendary Beat poet Bob Kaufman; it had its world premiere at Washington College last November.

Price is currently teaching on a part-time basis at the College and working on outreach programs that connect the college and the community through the arts.

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