Albany State University will shine the spotlight on the art form of poetry with its fourth annual poetry festival Nov. 4-6 on the ASU campus with the theme “Convergence: History & Poetry.”
The festival will feature Sunni Patterson, one of the most popular and well-known spoken word artists in the U.S.
Patterson has been a featured performer at many of the nation’s premier spoken word venues, including HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. She also performed at the Panafest in Ghana, West Africa. Patterson has worked with other well-known artists and performers, including Hannibal Lokumbe, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Sonia Sanchez, Wanda Coleman, Amiri Baraka and the Laini Kuumba Afrikan Dance Company.
Other featured poets include:
- Raymond “Moose” Jackson is a self-taught poet dedicated to listening deeply to the spirits of places as well as the animal and plant families. Originally from Detroit, Mich., Jackson now lives in New Orleans, La., and has published a book of poetry. He regularly performs in theatrical and musical environments. Jackson wrote “Loup Garou,” the winner of the 2009 Big Easy Award for Best Original Play of the Year.
- Juan Perez is a high school teacher in La Pryor, Texas and has published several chapbooks of poetry. In addition to writing about his Native American and Mexican heritage, he also writes in the genres of horror and science fiction. His most recent collection of poetry is “Another Menudo Sunday.”
- Poet On Watch, also known as Angela Williamston, is a published poet, filmmaker, disc jockey and music producer. She is the founder and artistic director for the Media Arts & Literacy Institute in Austin, Texas. Poet On Watch is also the festival director for the M.A.L.I. Women’s Film & Performance Center Arts Conference.
- Tony Morris teaches poetry, creative writing and journalism courses at Armstrong-Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., where he also serves as the managing editor of Southern Poetry Review. Morris is the poetry chair for the Savannah Book Festival and the primary organizer for the Ossabaw Island Writers’ Retreat. Morris’ most recent publication is “Greatest Hits,” an invitational chapbook published by Pudding House Press. His first book, “Fugue’s End,” won the 2004 Mary Belle Campbell Poetry Award. His most recent book, “Back to Cain,” was published in 2006.
- Reginald Sweet, also known as PoeticMindz, is a spoken word recording artist known for a diverse repertoire and for using techniques that have brought him critical acclaim and widespread praise. A native of Boston, Mass., Sweet has lived in Albany for the past decade. He has published two chapbooks, two CDs and three plays.
- Karen Crompton-Rubin of Thomasville, Ga., is a 1989 graduate of ASU with a bachelor’s degree in English. She was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Iowa, where she earned a master’s degree in African-American literature. Crompton-Rubin is currently a graduate student at the University of Colorado with plans to graduate with her doctorate in the spring of 2011.
- Dr. Doris Davenport is the festival coordinator as well as a performance and literary poet. Davenport’s eighth book of poetry, “sometimes i wonder,” is in publication. She is in her fourth year as an ASU faculty member and holds a doctorate in African-American literature from the University of Southern California.
The poetry festival will kick off at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, in the ACAD Auditorium with a symposium and community poetry reading. That will be followed by a writing workshop at 2 p.m. led by Jackson and Davenport in the L. Orene Hall Building. The day will conclude with a student workshop poetry reading and reception at 6:30 p.m. in room 114 of the James Pendergrast Memorial Library.
Friday, Nov. 5, will include a student media workshop led by Poet On Watch in the L. Orene Hall Building. At 2 p.m. Perez will lead a workshop with the Albany Early College students in room 114 of the James Pendergrast Memorial Library. Also at 2 p.m., Jackson will lead a workshop with ASU students, faculty and staff in room 228 of the library. Friday will wrap up at 7 p.m. with a local poets’ forum and reception featuring poets Morris, Crompton-Rubin and Sweet in room 114 of the library.
Events will get underway on Saturday, Nov. 6, with a workshop for high school and college students led by Patterson in the L. Orene Hall Building. The festival finale will be held on Saturday at 6 p.m. in room 101 of Simmons Hall featuring poetry performances by Davenport, Perez, Poet on Watch, Jackson and Patterson. The performances will be followed by a reception at 8 p.m. in the L. Orene Hall Building that will include CDs, DVDs, book signings and an open mic.
The poetry festival is presented by the Department of English, Modern Languages and Mass Communication; the College of Fine Arts and Humanities; the Lyceum Series; and the Office of Title III Programs. All events are free and open to the public.
For more information about the poetry festival, contact the ASU Department of English, Modern Languages and Mass Communication at (229) 430-1715 or Davenport at (229) 430-1383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.