Writing festival to bring poets laureate, singer-songwriter to PSU

Mar. 25—PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg State University's creative writing program will host WritersFest, a literary festival to include workshops and readings by noted authors.

The festival honors writer Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, a Kansas poet laureate emeritus, as well as local poets, singer-songwriters and other Kansas poets laureate. It also recognizes Mirriam-Goldberg's donation of her literary archives to PSU's Axe Library. It is funded in part by Humanities Kansas and by the Student Fee Council.

—The festival will kick off at 6 p.m. Monday with an open mic for local poets at TJ Lelands in downtown Pittsburg. Readers will include Laura Lee Washburn, Lori Martin, Chris Anderson, Olive Sullivan and others.

—The festival will get underway at 11 a.m. Tuesday with "Write Livelihood: Making a Living from Your Writing in Your Community" presented by Mirriam-Goldberg and Kathryn Lorenzen, a creativity coach, songwriter and poet. The discussion is in Room 302 of Grubbs Hall and is open to the public.

Mirriam-Goldberg will lead a workshop titled "Write Where You Are: Using Writing to Make Sense of Your Life" from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at Pittsburg Public Library. It is open to the public. Participants will receive a packet of prompts and resources.

The university's Distinguished Visiting Writer Series will present American blues pianist and singer Kelley Hunt in concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Bicknell Center, with an opening performance by Kathryn Lorenzen. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at pittstate.edu/tickets or at the ticket office in the Garfield Weede Building. Admission is free for high school students and PSU students with a valid ID.

—The festival will continue with a presentation on writing poetry by Mirriam-Goldberg at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Room 302 of Grubbs Hall. It is open to the public. The presentation, "I Walk the Line: Composing the Music of Poetry," will explore how free verse and open poetic forms give writers freedom, and how to work with line and stanza breaks and lengths.

Kansas poet laureates Denise Low, Kevin Rabas, Eric McHenry and Mirriam-Goldberg will present a lecture and reading called "Poetry Predicts the Future / Writing from Kansas: Kansas Poet Laureates as U.S. Bellwether" from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Axe Library. It is open to the public.

Mirriam-Goldberg will read poetry at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Axe Library as part of the Distinguished Visiting Writer's Series. A reception will follow. The event is open to the public.

—Former Kansas poet laureate Kevin Rabas will discuss poetry and jazz in professor Chris Anderson's "Beat Generation" class from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Thursday in Room 303 of Grubbs Hall. It is open to the public.