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SWAG Writers presents National Poetry Month reading

SWAG WritersSWAG Writers (The Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta Group of the Virginia Writers Club) Reading Series continues in April with a reading by poets Susan Facknitz, Stan Galloway, Leona Sevick, Michael Trocchia, and Lesley Wheeler

The reading will take place on Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at Black Swan Books & Music, 1 East Beverley St. Staunton. The reading is free and open to the public.

National Poetry Month, begun in 1996 by the American Academy of Poets, is the largest literary celebration in the world and lauds the place of poetry in our culture.

This event is the latest public reading sponsored by SWAG Writers. According to Clifford Garstang, founder of SWAG Writers, “The organization aims to elevate the profile of area writers and promote the literary arts in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County by providing a forum for local and visiting authors to share their work. National Poetry Month is an ideal time to do that.” The group is made up of professional, aspiring, and hobby writers who also host occasional seminars and panel discussions in addition to a monthly mixer where members meet to network and socialize and read short excerpts of their work at an open mic. Writers interested in joining the group can contact Garstang at

About the Featured Authors

Susan Facknitz’s poetry attempts to trace the connections between historical violence and personal trauma. Her poems have appeared in journals in the U.S., Canada and Ireland. She taught Creative Writing and Irish Literature courses at James Madison University for thirty years and now leads a writers’ group at Our Community Place and teaches at Blue Ridge Community College.

Stan Galloway teaches writing and literature at Bridgewater College in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. His poetry has appeared online at vox poetica, Loch Raven Review, Caper Literary Journal, Eunoia Review, The Atrium, and Apollo’s Lyre. In print, his poems have shown up in Midnight Zoo, the Burroughs BulletinWestWard Quarterly, and the book Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Second Century. His book of literary criticism, The Teenage Tarzan, came out in January 2010.

Leona Sevick is the 2017 Press 53 Poetry Award Winner for her first full-length book of poems, Lion Brothers. Her work has appeared in Verse Daily, Little Patuxent Review, North American Review, The Journal, and is forthcoming in Fifth Wednesday Journal, Crab Orchard Review, and The Normal School.  Her work also appears in The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks. She is provost at Bridgewater College in.

Michael Trocchia is the author of Unfounded (FutureCycle Press) and The Fatherlands (Monkey Puzzle Press). His poems and prose have appeared in journals such as Asheville Poetry Review, Baltimore Review, The Boiler, Colorado Review, Fourteen Hills, Muse/A Journal, and The Worcester Review. He lives in Staunton and works up the road at James Madison University where he teaches philosophy and works in the library.

Lesley Wheeler’s books include Radioland and Heterotopia, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize, as well as the chapbook Propagation. Her poems and essays appear in Cold Mountain ReviewEcotone, Gettysburg Review, and Massachussetts Review. Wheeler is the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

augusta free press
augusta free press