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21st Annual Poetry Festival held on campus

4/1/2003 —
The 21st annual Hayfield Poetry Festival was held on Saturday, April 12, 2003 at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. The festival featured workshops and readings of two popular poets, Tony Medina and Maria Mazziotti Gillan. Workshops were conducted by the poets, and afternoon poetry readings were free and open to the public. Booksignings followed the afternoon readings during which time visitors talked with the poets and were able purchase their books. A coffee/tea reception concluded the event. This poetry series was offered as a public service to the community by Penn State Wilkes-Barre and through the generosity of the festival sponsors.
 
Tony Medina is the author of several books including Committed to Breathing, Emerge & See, Arrest the I.R.S. !!!, Sermons from the Smell of a Carcass Condemned to Begging, and No Noose is Good Noose. He has also edited a number of anthologies and has written three children’s books, DeShawn Days, Christmas Makes Me Think, and Love to Langston. Carla Robinson writes, “Tony Medina is a political poet - thanks to the persistence of artists like Medina, the personal as political is regaining ground. On Sept. 11, 2001, many of us lost a great deal, but there’s no question that as a nation we gained something, too. Although we may bemoan being forced to take our collective head out of the sand, Medina is here to make sure we consider the gift of insight that came alongside the pain, to see that we turn that insight into the greatest gift of all, compassion.” Medina teaches English at Long Island University.
 
Maria Mazziotti Gillan has written seven books of poetry and has edited several anthologies. She has won numerous awards including NPR’s The Poet and Poem Award for Literary Excellence, the May Sarton Award, and the American Literary Translator’s Award. Charles Johnson, writes of her most recent book, Italian Women In Black Dresses (Guernica 2003), “what makes her poetry so popular … is its humanity and warmth, which allows her to be a mirror reflecting all the lives her work touches.” Mazziotti Gillan is the editor of the Paterson Literary Review, executive director of the Passaic Poetry Center, and director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University.
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