PALM BEACH POETRY FESTIVAL Returns to Old School Square in Delray Beach, Jan 16-21

Returns to Old School Square in Delray Beach Next Month / January 16-21, 2012

11 Award-Winning Poets to be Featured:
Kim Addonizio, Cornelius Eady, Claudia Emerson, Vanessa Hidary, David Kirby, Thomas Lux, Jamaal May, Gregory Orr, Chase Twichell, Eleanor Wilner
& Special Guest Poet Charles Wright

(Delray Beach, FL – December 8, 2011) Miles Coon, Director of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival (PBPF), today reminded everyone that the eighth annual festival is returning next month to Old School Square in Delray Beach for six days, January 16-21, 2012.

“Eight of America’s most gifted poets will be in Delray Beach to teach workshops for qualified writers of poetry, once again offering a great learning opportunity to both local poets and those from around the globe,” said Coon. “Two extraordinary performance poets will bring their powerful voices to our late night coffee house on January 21 and to two Palm Beach County high schools. I’m particularly proud that Charles Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, will be our special guest poet. He will read his work at the Gala Reading on January 18, following the festival gala.

“In addition to serving the writing community through our professional workshops, the Palm Beach Poetry Festival will once again offer numerous opportunities for the public to hear truly great poetry, written from and for our time, read by poets who engage and enthrall the audience,” added Coon. “They are a diverse group, ethnically, demographically and aesthetically. When people hear them, they will hear America singing.”

The upcoming Palm Beach Poetry Festival has scheduled the following Readings and Events for poetry fans:

Tuesday, January 17
2 p.m. – Afternoon Craft Talks with Thomas Lux & Eleanor Wilner
8 p.m. – Kickoff Reading by Kim Addonizio & Cornelius Eady

Wednesday, January 18
2 p.m. – Afternoon Craft Talks with Claudia Emerson & David Kirby
5 p.m. – Festival Gala in Old School Square’s Vintage Auditorium. $250 per person.
8 p.m. – Evening Reading by Special Guest Charles Wright, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award

Thursday, January 19
2 p.m. – Afternoon Craft Talks with Kim Addonizio & Gregory Orr
8 p.m. – Midway Reading by Thomas Lux & Chase Twichell

Friday, January 20
2 p.m. – Afternoon Craft Talks with Cornelius Eady & Chase Twichell
8 p.m. – TGIF Reading by David Kirby & Eleanor Wilner

Saturday, January 21
2 p.m. – Panel Discussion on Beloved & Influential Poems with Eleanor Wilner, Chase Twichell, Gregory Orr, Thomas Lux, David Kirby, Claudia Emerson, Chase Eady & Kim Addonizio
7 p.m. – Finale Reading by Claudia Emerson & Gregory Orr
9 p.m. – Late-Night Coffee House & Party / Performance Poetry with
Vanessa Hidary and Jamaal May followed by DJ Dance Party

Special Guest Poet:
Charles Wright was born in Pickwick Dam, Tennessee in 1935 and was educated at Davidson College and the University of Iowa. His books include Outtakes (Sarabande, 2010); Sestets: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010); Littlefoot: A Poem (2008); Scar Tissue (2007), which was the international winner for the Griffin Poetry Prize; Buffalo Yoga (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004); Negative Blue (2000); Appalachia (1998); Black Zodiac (1997), which won the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Chickamauga (1995), which won the 1996 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The World of the Ten Thousand Things: Poems 1980-1990; Zone Journals (1988); Country Music: Selected Early Poems (1983), which won the National Book Award; Hard Freight (1973), which was nominated for the National Book Award; among others.

Mr. Wright has also written two volumes of criticism: Halflife (1988) and Quarter Notes (1995) and has translated the work of Dino Campana in Orphic Songs, (Oberlin College Press, 1984) as well as Eugenio Montale's, The Storm and Other Poems, (1978), which was awarded the PEN Translation Prize. His many honors include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award of Merit Medal and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. In 1999 he was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. He recently retired as Souder Family Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Eight Workshops Poets:
+ Kim Addonozio is “one of our nation’s most provocative and edgy poets.” (San Diego Tribune) Her latest books are Lucifer at the Starlite, a finalist for the Poets Prize and the Northern California Book Award; and Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, both from W.W. Norton. Kalima Press recently published her Selected Poems in Arabic. Addonizio’s many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, and Pushcart Prizes for both poetry and the essay. Her collection, Tell Me, was a National Book Award Finalist. Other books include two novels from Simon & Schuster, one of which has been optioned for the screen by Fox Searchlight. Addonizio offers private workshops in Oakland, CA, and online, and often incorporates her love of blues harmonica into her readings.

+ Cornelius Eady has published more than half a dozen volumes of poetry, most recently, Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems, nominated for an NAACP Image Award; and Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the Academy of American Poets’ Lamont Prize; The Gathering of My Name, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; You Don’t Miss Your Water, The Autobiography of a Jukebox; and Brutal Imagination. His work appears in many journals, magazines, and the anthologies Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep, In Search of Color Everywhere; and The Vintage Anthology of African American Poetry, (1750-2000). His honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Fund, and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award. With Toi Derricotte, Eady founded Cave Canem, an organization that supports the work of African American poets. Eady holds the Miller Chair in Poetry at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

+ Claudia Emerson received the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her book Late Wife: Poems (LSU Press, 2005). Figure Studies: Poems, her newest collection, was published in 2008 (LSU Press). She is also the author of the poetry collections Pharaoh, Pharaoh, and Pinion: An Elegy; all volumes are published in Dave Smith's Southern Messenger Poets series. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Southern Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, New England Review, and other journals. Emerson is the recipient of a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She was the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2008-2010. She is professor of English and Arrington Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

+ David Kirby is the author of Little Richard: The Birth of Rock n Roll, which was hailed by the Times Literary Supplement of London as a hymn of praise to the emancipatory power of nonsense." His collection, The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems, was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award, and his latest book of poetry is Talking About Movies With Jesus. With Barbara Hamby, he co-edited Seriously Funny: Poems About Love, Death, Religion, Art, Sex, and Everything Else. Kirby is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University.

+ Thomas Lux has published several books of poetry including God Particles, The Cradle Place, The Street of Clocks and New and Selected Poems: 1975-1995. He was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Blind Swimmer: Selected Early Poems: 1970-1975; and Split Horizon, winner of the Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award. His distinguished teaching career includes twenty-seven years on the writing faculty and as Director of the MFA Program in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence. He has taught at Emerson College, Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers, and other universities. A finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry and recipient of three NEA grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Lux holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry and directs the McEver Visiting Writers Program at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

+ Gregory Orr has published ten poetry collections, most recently, How Beautiful the Beloved, (Copper Canyon) and the lyric sequence, Concerning the Book That Is The Body Of The Beloved. A new chapbook, The City of Poetry, is forthcoming from Sarabande. Other works include The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems, Orpheus and Eurydice, City of Salt, We Must Make a Kingdom of It, The Red House, Gathering the Bones Together, and Burning the Empty Nests, and prose books Poetry As Survival, and a memoir, The Blessing. In 2009, his essay, “Return to Hayneville,” appeared in Best Essays, Best Creative Non-Fiction, and The Pushcart Prizes. Orr received a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at the Institute for Violence and Survival, NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. He is Professor of English at the University of Virginia, where he founded the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

+ Chase Twichell has published seven books of poetry, most recently, Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New & Selected Poems, (Copper Canyon, 2010), winner of the 2011 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1997 she won the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America for The Snow Watcher. Twichell was educated at Trinity College (Hartford, CT (BA, 1973) and the University of Iowa (MFA, 1976), and in 2010 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from St. Lawrence University. After teaching for many years (Hampshire College, The University of Alabama, and Princeton University), she started Ausable Press, a not-for-profit publisher of poetry, which was acquired by Copper Canyon Press in 2009.

+ Eleanor Wilner has published seven books of poems, most recently Tourist in Hell (2010, University of Chicago Press); The Girl with Bees in Her Hair, and Reversing the Spell; New & Collected Poems (Copper Canyon). Her publications include a translation of Euripides’ Medea, and a book on visionary imagination, Gathering the Winds. Her poems appear in over 40 anthologies; her awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Juniper Prize, three Pushcart Prizes, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She has a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, teaches peripatetically at various colleges and universities, and perennially in the MFA Program for Writers, Warren Wilson College.

Coffeehouse Performance Poets:
+ Vanessa Hidary is an actress, solo performer, writer and director who is known as “The Hebrew Mamita.” She grew up on Manhattan's culturally diverse Upper West Side, graduating from LaGuardia High School of the Arts and Hunter College. Her experiences as a Sephardic Jew with close friends from different ethnic and religious backgrounds inspired her to write "Culture Bandit," a solo show about coming of age during the golden age of Hip-Hop. She has appeared three times on HBO’s “Russell Simmon's Def Poetry Jam and in the award-winning film, “The Tribe." Vanessa has been featured in The New York Post, Time Out New York, The Jewish Week,, The Forward, URB , BUST, Beyond Race, The LA Times, Jerusalem Post, Time Out NY, and Lilith. Her first book, The Last Kaiser Roll In The Bodega, is was published by Penmanship Books in May 2011. Vanessa holds an MFA in Acting from Trinity Rep Theatre Conservatory.

+ Jamaal May is a Cave Canem Fellow, Callaloo Fellow and student in Warren Wilson’s MFA for Writers. He is the author of a poetry chapbook, The God Engine, Pudding House Press, 2009) and editor of the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Series. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Indiana Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Blackbird and Verse Daily among other magazines and anthologies. May has received two scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, an International Publication Prize from Atlanta Review, and he was a finalist for the 2010 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. He was recently named the 2011-2012 Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University. May is a two-time Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam Champion, two-time Detroit Slam Champion, five-time team member, and two-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist. He has coached three Brave New Voices youth slam teams and taught poetry classes through the Inside Out Literary Arts Project.

About the Palm Beach Poetry Festival 2012:
Eight faculty poets, a special guest poet and two performance poets will be featured at 11 ticketed public events, January 16-21, including readings, talks and a lively panel discussion. In addition, the workshop participants will read at three late-night open mics, free to the public. For a complete list of the public events, refer to

Tickets are on sale to the public through the festival website and at the Crest Theatre Box Office at Old School Square, 41 N. Swinton Ave, Delray Beach. Phone 561-243-7922, Ext 1 General Admission ticket prices per event are $12/adult, $10/senior and $8/student. Special student group rates are available.

The Palm Beach Poetry Festival is generously sponsored by Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney, the Windler Group of Morgan Stanley, and Smith Barney’s Atlanta Office; the Palm Beach County Cultural Council and the Board of Commissioners of Palm Beach County; The Palm Beach Post, WXEL-TV42, WPBI-FM (Classical South Florida Radio), and Murder on the Beach, Delray Beach’s independent bookseller. All events take place in the Crest Theatre and Vintage Gymnasium of Old School Square in Delray Beach. The 7th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival was underwritten, in part, by an Arts Challenge Grant in 2010 from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

For more information about the Palm Beach Poetry Festival 2012, please visit

Miles Coon

Special Guest Poet Charles Wright

Jpegs of All Festival Poets are Available Upon Request

Gary Schweikhart
PR-BS, Inc.

Charles Wright