News Release: Arts and Humanities, Events

Oct. 7,  2010

Southern Poets Festival Hosted at Emory

News Article ImageKevin Young, curator of MARBL's literary collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library

Emory University Libraries and its Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) will host the Poetry Society of America’s (PSA) centennial events in the South on Thursday, Oct. 7.

The day’s events start with an afternoon panel and an evening of readings by Southern poets, both free and open to the public, then conclude with a ticketed benefit reception, sponsored by the PSA, MARBL and the Hightower Fund.

Emory is an ideal location for the Festival of Southern Poets because MARBL strives to be a center for Southern verse and poetry in general, with holdings from noteworthy poets like James Dickey to international bards such as Seamus Heaney, according to Kevin Young, curator of MARBL’s literary collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library.

“We chose Emory as the place to have our Southern Centennial event because we admire Kevin Young’s work with the Danowski Poetry Library,” says Alice Quinn, executive director of the PSA. “Emory is a hub for contemporary poetry with major collections of poets’ papers and a lively series of poetry events throughout the year, and Atlanta is one of America’s great literary hotbeds.”

The poets featured at the 6 p.m. readings include Pulitzer Prize winners Claudia Emerson and Natasha Trethewey, MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Award” winner C.D. Wright, and Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winner Thomas Lux.

“These are some of the best poets around, and this is a great opportunity to see all of these poets at once,” Young says.

The panel of poets at 4 p.m. will talk about their views of Southern poetry and discuss the future of poetry in the South with the audience. “I am looking forward to hearing how these writers view being a Southern poet, how it affects them and what they think about. They are the future of Southern poetry,” Young says.

The schedule is as follows:

• 4 p.m.: “The Future of Southern Poetry,” panel with Beth Bachmann, Sean Hill, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon and Jake Adam York. Moderated by Kevin Young. Jones Room, Level 3, Robert W. Woodruff Library, 540 Asbury Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322. Free and open to the public. Information:, 404.727.6898,

• 6 p.m.: “Poets of the American South 1910-2010.” Poetry readings, with Claudia Emerson, Forrest Gander, Thomas Lux, Natasha Trethewey, C.D. Wright, and Kevin Young. Glenn Memorial Auditorium, 1652 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322. Free and open to the public. Information:, 404.727.6898,

• 8 p.m.: Centennial Benefit Reception – cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Chef Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene, and informal conversation with the poets following the readings. Woodruff Room, Level 10 (MARBL), Robert W. Woodruff Library, 540 Asbury Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322. Tickets $50; contact Aimee Walker at or 212.254.9628.

The Festival of Southern Poets is one of six PSA regional centennial celebrations across the country, each featuring a different lineup of poets, in various cities including Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York City.

Originally posted Oct. 4, 2010


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