Poets from places like Zimbabwe, Egypt and Israel are descending on Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia, this week to prove that poetry and poets are "real."
The Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, which premiered four years ago, will also feature dozens of poets from about 20 U.S. states. The event is an initiative of Bridgewater English Professor Stanley Galloway, an internationally recognized poet himself.
“We want to demonstrate to students that these poets are real people, not just names in a book,” Galloway said. “If my students can realize that poets are real people, it’s not so hard for them to realize that they, too, could be poets. Also, we want students to be more globally aware, and we want to achieve that, in part, by bringing the world to Bridgewater.”
The conference will showcase performances from Congolese poet Leonard Tshitenge, "Georgia Review" editor Stephen Corey, and spoken word artist Lady Caress. All of the poets will read for 20 minutes, with a command performance on the closing day of the conference featuring 12 to 15 poets selected for works representative of the festival. The four-day event, which begins Jan. 12, will also offer workshops, informal discussions and networking sessions.
The festval is open to the public.
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