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Bridgewater College to host International Poetry Festival

bridgewater collegePoets and publishers from around the world will converge upon Bridgewater College Jan. 12-15 for a conference to celebrate poetry, creativity and the global exchange of ideas.

The Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, which premiered at Bridgewater College in 2013, is designed primarily as a performance venue, but will also feature workshops and informal sessions in the college’s Eagle’s Nest for discussion and networking. Each registered poet will have 20 minutes to present his or her work to the gathering, which will feature approximately 80 writers from Canada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Zimbabwe, among others. Poets from 19 states are also expected to participate.

Highlights include Leonard Tshitenge, a Congolese poet now living in Massachusetts; Lady Caress, a nationally acclaimed Spoken Word Artist; and, Stephen Corey, editor of the “Georgia Review.”

The command performance, which is free and open to the public, will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15, in Cole Hall. This performance will feature readings from 12 to 15 selected poets, reprising works representative of the festival.

Stanley A. Galloway, a professor of English at Bridgewater and internationally recognized poet, has organized the conference as part of his Interterm class.

“We want to demonstrate to students that these poets are real people, not just names in a book,” he 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 is open to all and registration details may be obtained online at wp.bridgewater.edu/bipf. Galloway may also be contacted at (540) 828-5339, or by email at sgallowa@bridgewater.edu.

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to nearly 1,900 undergraduate students.

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