Poetry Forum season features words on war
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Terrance Hayes, who teaches at Carnegie Mellon University, will appear at the Poetry Forum on Jan. 30.
By Bob Hoover, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
With the reading by Sam Hamill Oct. 10, the International Poetry Forum sounds the theme of its 41st season loud and clear: "Poets on War and Other Losses."
Hamill, founder of Copper Canyon Press in Washington state, spearheaded the Poets Against the War effort in 2003, preceding the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq. His efforts sparked a nationwide protest that caused first lady Laura Bush to cancel a poetry event at the White House.
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Hamill's call for poems on the war led to such an outpouring that he set up a Web site to handle the volume. It attracted one of the largest anthologies of poems on one subject, the Academy of American Poets reported.
It also led to the book "Poets Against the War," a selected collection of poetic responses, published in 2003.
His 14th collection, "Almost Paradise," appeared in 2005.
Forum director Samuel Hazo will honor Hamill with the Charity Randall Citation, the forum's annual poetry award.
An Iraq War veteran, Brian Turner, closes the forum's season April 2, 2008. He served in an Army infantry division in Iraq and also saw duty in Bosnia during U.S. peacekeeping missions there.
His collection, "Here, Bullet," is the winner of six poetry prizes. The poems have been compared to the writings of World War I poet Wilfred Owen and Vietnam veterans Yousef Komunyakaa and Bruce Weigl.
Turner also will receive a Randall Citation.
Other poets on the schedule include Terrance Hayes, author of three honored collections -- "Wind in a Box," "Hip Logic" and Muscular Music." He teaches writing at Carnegie Mellon University and will appear Jan. 30.
Rounding out the season:
Nov. 7: Ken Waldman, performance poet and Alaska resident who also accompanies himself on the fiddle.
Dec. 5: Andrea Hollander Budy and Sheryl St. Germain. Budy's newest collection, "Woman in the Painting," is published by Autumn House Press of Pittsburgh. She is writer-in-residence at Lyon College in Arkansas. St. Germain is director of the graduate writing program at Chatham College and author of three poetry collections.
March 5: Hayan Charara and Bill Zavatsky. Charara, who has taught at the University of Texas, is the author of "The Sadness of Others," published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Zavatsky mixes his poetry, found in three collections, with a career as a jazz pianist and translator.
The readings will be at 8 p.m. in the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. For tickets, 412-621-9893.
Poetry month news
Te Cafe, 2000 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill, tries out its space for poetry readings April 12 with Judith Vollmer and Jan Beatty, both Regent Square residents and prize-winning poets.
Beatty won the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Creative Achievement Award, and Vollmer is a Brittingham and Cleveland State Poetry prize-winner.
The readings start at 7 p.m.
Martin Espada, author of the 2006 poetry collection "The Republic of Poetry," reads April 14 at 5:30 p.m. at 2500 Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh's Oakland campus. The reading is free and open to the public.
Espada is winner of the 2003 Paterson Poetry Prize and author of eight poetry collections. Details: 412-648-7477.
First Published April 3, 2007 12:00 am