Vol. 17, No. 30May 7, 1998

Poetry festival attracts student writers

Anne Colwell, Parallel Program, discusses a poem with
Shontae Selby of Talley Middle School.

The first University of Delaware Poetry Festival attracted 100 high school students and 20 teachers to the campus April 25.

Each student sent three to five poems in advance for workshop leaders to read, make comments on and help with revisions.

After a welcome from University President David P. Roselle, the festival began with actors from the UD Professional Theatre Training Program reading selected student poems.

The teachers attended a workshop on teaching poetry, led by Susan Goodman, author of books on Edith Wharton, and award-winning poet Fleda Brown Jackson, both English. At the same time, in groups of 10, students attended writing workshops.

In the afternoon, poet X.J. Kennedy, author of 14 books of poetry, 10 books of poetry for children and An Introduction to Poetry, led a workshop for teachers. The students attended more writing workshops.

The program concluded with poetry reading by X.J. Kennedy and a reception.

Other workshop leaders, all of whom are recognized poets, included Juliana Baggott, fellow at the Ragdale Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; Deborah Burnham, College of Arts and Science at the University of Pennsylvania; Anne Colwell, UD Parallel Program; Devon Miller-Duggan, past fellow of the Delaware State Arts Council; James Keegan, UD Parallel Program; Erin Murphy, Cecil County Arts Council; Marisa de los Santos, UD Parallel Program; David G. W. Scott, 1998 Emerging Artist Fellowship recipient from the Delaware Division of the Arts; Katherine Varnes, English; and Jeanne Murray Walker, English.

Photo by Duane Perry