POETRY SOCIETY OF AMERICA PARTNERS WITH QUEENS COLLEGE
TO SPONSOR LITERARY SALONS IN QUEENS MARCH 9 AND MAY 4
-- Will Include Free Public Readings and Conversations with Emerging Poets –
FLUSHING, NY, February 20, 2009—In 17th century Paris, noted intellectuals and arts patrons would open the drawing rooms (salons) of their apartments to artists, writers and others as intimate gathering places to discuss books, fashion, politics and business and to encourage support of the arts. French salons were enthusiastically attended, admired, and imitated throughout Europe; some became the stuff of legend.
Inspired by these intimate literary exchanges, the Poetry Society of America—the nation’s oldest poetry organization—is partnering with Queens College’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation to hold “The New Salon in Queens.” An outer-borough extension of a popular Manhattan program, the series will bring nationally recognized poets to the college on two evenings, when they will read from their work and engage in lively discussion. Each event will conclude with a Q&A with the audience and a reception.
On March 9, Jericho Brown, an English professor at the University of San Diego who just published his first book, Please, will talk with Robert N. Casper, PSA programs director and publisher of the literary journal jubilat. The May 4 salon will feature poet, short story writer, and memoirist Hettie Jones, who has launched a publishing company for poets and leads a writers’ workshop at the New York State Correctional Facility for Women at Bedford Hills. Alice Quinn, PSA executive director and former longtime poetry editor of The New Yorker, will interview Jones. Both events will take place at 6:30 pm in Klapper Hall, Room 403. (For directions, see http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions.php).
“Expanding this successful New York series is going to be great fun, and Jericho Brown is the perfect debut poet for our New Salon in Queens,” says Quinn. “We’re so happy to be partnering with Queens College, and we’re counting on great audiences, too.”
“All of us in the new MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College are thrilled about our partnership with the Poetry Society of America,” says QC English Professor Nicole Cooley. “We can’t imagine a better way to bring poetry to the college and to the larger community.”
The Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation, introduced in fall 2008, offers a diverse student body the opportunity to work closely with award-winning faculty members who are also committed teachers. Faculty include novelist John Weir, winner of the Lambda Literary Award; poet and translator Roger Sedarat, winner of the Hollis Summers prize in poetry; playwright Richard Schotter, Obie award nominee and Berman Playwriting Prize winner; poet Kimiko Hahn, winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award in poetry; Nicole Cooley, who directs the MFA program, winner of the Walt Whitman Award in poetry; and poet and novelist Jeff Allen, winner of the Heartland Prize for Fiction. Visiting professors in the program have included Rigoberto Gonzalez and Cave Canem fellow Aracelis Girmay (poetry).
The Poetry Society of America was founded in 1910 for the purpose of creating a public forum for the advancement, enjoyment, and understanding of poetry. Through a diverse array of programs, initiatives, contests, and awards, the PSA works to build a larger audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the art, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life.