I know I’m not the only one here who’s excited for this year’s Moorman Symposium. This Friday and Saturday, USM’s College of Arts & Letters will be hosting five visiting poets: Billy Collins, David Lehman, Barbara Hamby, Denise Duhamel and David Kirby. There will be two readings on USM’s campus, free and open to anyone. The Symposium has been organized by Moorman Distinguished Professor, Dr. Angela Ball. Quoth Ball:
David Lehman, arguably the foremost authority on The New York School of Poetry, will play a key role in the Symposium. Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins, whose work freshly embodies the New York School’s sense of play, will join us from the North. Southern poets writing New York School-inflected works will include award-winning Florida poets Denise Duhamel, David Kirby, and Barbara Hamby.
The Symposium’s panel discussion will explore ways in which the South has a particular affinity with The New York School’s love of direct, demotic speech and lack of pretense, coupled with a love of the energy and beauty of poetic speech—speech that invites rather than intimidates. Together we will chart the migration and assimilation of a singularly lively poetic movement, while over two nights of special readings the visiting poets will entertain and delight us with their inspired and inspiring poetry. (Moorman Symposium Site)
The readings: Friday, May 2nd, at 7pm, former poet laureate Billy Collins will read at the Bennett Auditorium (Hattiesburg campus), and Saturday, May 3rd, Lehman, Hamby, Duhamel, and Kirby will read at the Polymer Science Auditorium, also at 7pm.