RIT Celebrates National Poetry Month

Lectures, readings and performances showcase local and national scholars and artists

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April is National Poetry Month and Rochester Institute of Technology is celebrating the artistry and societal importance of a wide range of poetry styles through a series of lectures, readings and performances. The events will culminate with the Word Sensorium, an interactive, multi-media performance featuring poetry readings, music and computer animation at RIT’s Imagination and Creativity Festival, May 1. All events are free and open to the public.

“National Poetry Month was created to highlight the importance of poetic expression in education, art and daily life,” notes John Roche, professor of English at RIT and one of the series organizers. “These events seek to expose our students and the broader community to the power and potential of poetry, showcase the tremendous talent present in the region and inspire the next generation of artists and creators.”

Highlights include:

  • Richard Haisma, internationally known dance instructor, presents As the Dead Prey Upon Us, his “physical theatre” performance of Charles Olson’s poetry, from 2-4 p.m. April 12 in the College of Liberal Arts Faculty Lounge at RIT.
  • Michael Boughn, editor of Shuffaloff Books, and David Landrey, poet and professor emeritus of English at Buffalo State College, discuss the Black Mountain Poetry tradition from 2-4 p.m. April 14 in the Liberal Arts Faculty Commons at RIT.
  • Poetry Tea to celebrate the Cary Graphic Arts Collection’s Travel Books exhibition, 2-4 p.m. April 20 at the Cary Graphic Arts Collection in Wallace Library on the RIT campus.
  • The Word Sensorium, featuring faculty and student poets performing with Carl Atkins (saxophone) and Jay Alan Jackson (drums), with animation by Mitch Rosen, Brandon May, and Jon Schull, from 1-2:30 p.m. May 1 in the Student Innovation Center as part of RIT’s Innovation and Creativity Festival.

    For more information, contact Roche at jfrgla@rit.edu. National Poetry Month was developed by the Academy of American Poets and received an official proclamation from President Bill Clinton in 1996. It is held every April in the United States and Canada.