National Poetry Month

April Showers May Bring Poetry

In 1996, the Academy of American Poets inaugurated April as National Poetry Month. It is now the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets. As much an art form as it is a writing form, we want to let you in on what’s going on this month so you can celebrate with us.

40th Annual English Awards Night
Honoring Gannon students who excelled in various writing forms, the public is invited to attend theYehl Room of the Waldron Campus Center at 7:30 pm on April 5 for the awards night. Distinguished poet Ross Gay will read a selection of his work, and the winner of Gannon’s national high school poetry contest will be announced.

Smith Creative Writers Reading Series, Featuring Mary Biddinger

Celebrated writers of poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction visit campus several times each year to give lectures, readings, discussions, and book signings. Visiting author readings are held at 6:00 p.m. (preceded by receptions at 5:30 p.m.) in the Smith Chapel. All events are free and open to the public. Presented with the support of the Clarence A. and Eugenie Baumann Smith Fund.

Penn State Behrend’s Smith Creative Writers Reading Series will feature English professor and poet Mary Biddinger on April 20 at 6:00 pm. The author of four full-length poetry collections will read and share her work with the public.

Book Release Celebration

Erie poet Chuck Joy has released a collection of 24 poems, titled Theme of Line, with Red Giant of
 Ohio. On April 21 at 7:30 pm, he will be at Poet’s Hall, Room 210 at the Avalon Hotel for his first book release celebration with guests, guest readers, and an open mic. He will be selling and signing copies of Theme of Line. 

Additional events—including the Erie Art Museum’s Gallery Night on May 19 and Cleveland’s Mac’s Backs on July 12—will feature the opportunity to engage with the author and purchase signed copies of Theme of Line. More at .

Literary Festival – 3rd Event

Lumen, from the Latin word meaning “light” and “opening,” is a completely student-produced magazine, and consistent winner of awards for content and design, from Mercyhurst College. Once a journal for creative writing, it has since evolved into an interactive multimedia format combining visual art, music, dance, poetry, and fiction.

In honor of retired professor McAndrew, on April 20 at 8:00 pm, at the Taylor Little Theatre the P. Barry McAndrew Writing Awards will be presented for the three best examples of student creative writing and the best critical essay on literature. These awards carry cash prizes generously endowed by the McAndrew family. Students are invited to share their works during an open mic session.

Step Into Poetry

Two decades ago, Erie artist Joe Gallagher birthed the idea behind the Writing Studio’s “Step into Poetry.” Participants will celebrate National Poetry Month by painting illustrated, three-line poems called haiku on 20 front steps of residences, city properties, and businesses on Erie’s east side. 

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