The daylong event features workshops with award-winning writers, poetry readings and concludes with a poetry slam – competitive performance poetry. Writers scheduled to attend the festival include award-winning author Craig Arnold, assistant professor of poetry at the University of Wyoming; writer James Reese, an assistant professor of English and director of the Great Plains Writers’ Tour at Mount Marty College; poet Carolyn Helmberger, a published author from Omaha, Neb.; and award-winning poet Liz Kay, also of Omaha, who is completing her M.F.A. in creative writing at the University of Nebraska. Writer appearances for the 2009 Poetry Festival are made possible through a Speakers Bureau grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council, by the USD College of Arts and Sciences and the USD Department of English, and by the VLP

Check-in and late registration is at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of Old Main followed by a 9 a.m. poetry workshop with Reese in Old Main 215. A poetry reading by Reese and Helmberger is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Farber Hall, Old Main followed by a two-hour workshop with Arnold in Old Main 215 at 1:30 p.m. A poetry reading by Arnold and Kay is at 4 p.m. in Farber Hall with the final event of the festival, a poetry reading and poetry slam, slated for 7 p.m. at the Coffee Shop Gallery, which is located at 24 W Main St. in downtown Vermillion. The slam is open to anyone who brings three original poems. Prizes will be awarded.

All readings and the evening poetry slam are free and open to the public; however, cost and registration are required to attend both workshops (discounts provided to USD students, faculty and staff). For costs, information or to register (deadline is Feb. 20), please visit or stop by Dakota Hall 212 on the USD campus.

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