2019 Poetry Society of Virginia Poetry Festival

The Poetry Society of Virginia is proud to announce its 2019 Poetry Festival. We invite you to join us in our annual celebration of Virginia poetry through fellowship, workshops, and readings.


The Society wishes to express its heartfelt gratitude to those who contributed generously to its Poetry Festival, specifically:

  • Paul Verkuil and his wife, Judith Rodin
  • Anne Willis, in memory of her husband, Prof. John Willis
  • The English Department of the College of William and Mary, through the support of Henry Hart, Poet Laureate of Virginia

Register by Mail

Click here to Download Registration Form

Please fill out the registration form, indicate your meal selections for lunch and the banquet, and send your check, payable to the Poetry Society of Virginia and postmarked no later than April 30, to: Sofia M. Starnes, 4951 Burnley Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188.

Festival Dates

Friday, May 17 through Saturday, May 18, 2019

Registration Deadline

Online registration will be open through April 30. Registration forms sent via postal mail must be postmarked no later than April 30. On-site registration available at the door.

Locations

All workshops, presentations, and readings:
Tucker Hall, English Department
College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, Virginia 23187

Closing Banquet with Open Reading
Saturday evening:
Ford’s Colony Country Club
240 Ford's Colony Dr.
Williamsburg, VA 23188

Festival Fees

  • Registration fee: $40
  • Saturday boxed lunch: $12*
  • Banquet: $25**

*Please see registration form for menu options, and make your selection.
**Please see registration form for menu options, and make your selection. All plated entrees include a side dish and salad, coffee/tea, taxes and gratuities; there will be a cash bar for other drinks. Dessert, compliments of the PSV.

Please fill out the registration form, indicate your meal selections for lunch and the banquet, and send your check, payable to the Poetry Society of Virginia and postmarked no later than April 30, to: Sofia M. Starnes, 4951 Burnley Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188.

Please see registration form for menu options, and make your selection.)

Please see registration form for menu options, and make your selection. All plated entrees include a side dish and salad, coffee/tea, taxes and gratuities; there will be a cash bar for other drinks. Dessert, compliments of the PSV.)

Please fill out the registration form, indicate your meal selections for lunch and the banquet, and send your check, payable to the Poetry Society of Virginia and postmarked no later than April 30, to: Sofia M. Starnes, 4951 Burnley Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188.

Festival schedule

Friday, May 17th: Tucker Hall, English Department, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg

7:00: Opening remarks by Virginia Poet Laureate Henry Hart and introduction of Festival Keynote Presenter, Debra Nystrom
7:15: Poetry Reading, Debra Nystrom
8:00: Book signing and reception

Saturday, May 18th: Tucker Hall, English Department, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg (except for Closing Banquet with Open Reading)

10:00 – 10:15. Registration
10:15 – 11:30: Seminar by Jefferson Holdridge, “Palimpsests of Conquest: Nature, Home, and Landscape in Irish Poetry”
11:30 – 11:50: PSV Elections (PSV members) -- Remarks to be delivered by Robert Arthur, outgoing PSV President

11:50 – 12:45: Lunch and book-browse

12:45 – 2:00: Workshop by Marjorie Maddox, “This Is Your Life: Making Characters Their Own People”

2:00 – 2:10: Break

2:10 – 3:25: Workshop by Jon Pineda, “The Element of Surprise: Building Images in Poems”
3:30 – 4:15: Announcement of Book Award winner and reading by Awardee*

4:15 – 6:00: Break

6:00 – 9:00: Closing Banquet with Open Reading, for attendees and their guests, at Ford’s Colony Country Club, 240 Ford's Colony Dr, Williamsburg, Virginia

*If the winner of the PSV Book Award is unable to attend, we will host a panel by our guest speakers, Jefferson Holdridge, Marjorie Maddox, and Jon Pineda, on the subject “Anxiety of Influence: Inheritors of the past, originators of new pathways”.

Speakers, Presentations and Workshops

Debra Nystrom

Keynote Presenter and Guest Poet, teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. Her books include A Quarter Turn, Torn Sky, Bad River Road and most recently Night Sky Frequencies: New and Selected Poems. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, Slate, The American Poetry Review, VQR, Harvard Review, Narrative, Conjunctions, and Yale Review, and have received awards from The Virginia Quarterly Review, Five Points, Shenandoah, The Virginia Commission for the Arts and The Library of Virginia. She is currently at work on a memoir.

Debra Nystrom will give a Poetry Reading, followed by conversation, on Friday evening.

Jefferson Holdridge

Seminar Title: Palimpsests of Conquest: Nature, Home, and Landscape in Irish Poetry

Seminar description: This seminar will present an overview of Irish poetry, using home as a binding thesis. “From 1600 there is a discernibly Irish style of house… ,” writes Roy Foster, “The castle would take a hundred years to become the country house… often demonstrated even today, in the eighteenth-century farmhouse grafted on to a late medieval keep: a palimpsest of conquest.” The Irish house often exists in isolation, yet is defined by the surrounding landscape, whether the dark encroachments of nature around the Big House or the bogs and wells that surround the cottages of the peasantry. The tension between the two haunts the literature, from Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent, to Yeats’s The Tower and Other Poems, to Heaney’s “A Peacock’s Feather,” his sonnet sequence “Clearances,” and even the poetry of his last volumes. There will be occasion for audience participation.

Presenter’s Bio: Jefferson Holdridge, Director of Wake Forest University Press and Professor of English at WFU in North Carolina, is the author of three volumes of poetry, Eruptions (2013), Devil’s Den and Other Poems (2015), and The Sound Thereof, (2017). He has written two critical books entitled Those Mingled Seas: The Poetry of W.B. Yeats, the Beautiful and the Sublime (2000) and The Poetry of Paul Muldoon (2008). He has also edited and introduced two volumes of The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry (2005; 2010), as well as Post-Ireland? Essays on Contemporary Irish Poetry, which he co-edited and introduced with Brian O'Conchubhair (Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest University Press, 2017).

Marjorie Maddox

Workshop description: Too often in creative writing workshops, poets create a narrator completely like themselves. Others haphazardly sketch a cardboard persona with little insight into how that person thinks, feels, acts, and reacts. To combat both, this workshop for poets, will focus on using several exercises to discuss voice and narrative, to experiment with point of view, to use diction to try on diverse personas, and, if time, to interview each other as characters.

Presenter’s Bio: Marjorie Maddox, Sage Graduate Fellow of Cornell (MFA) and Professor of English at Lock Haven University, has published 11 collections of poetry—including True, False, None of the Above (Poiema Poetry Series; Illumination Book Award Medalist); Local News from Someplace Else ; Wives' Tales; Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (2004 Yellowglen Prize; re-release Wipf & Stock 2018); and Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); and over 550 stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. Co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State Press) and assistant editor of Presence, she also is the author of 4 children’s books.

Jon Pineda

Workshop Title: The Element of Surprise: Building Images in Poems

Workshop Description: The poet Robert Frost famously wrote, "No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader." Though we may sense this maxim as poets, we are also inclined to fall short of our goal. In this workshop, the participants will be provided with writing prompts and exercises for generating "surprising" images for our readers.

Presenter’s Bio: Jon Pineda is a professor of creative writing at the College of William and Mary. His work has appeared widely in such journals as Poetry Northwest, The Literary Review, Sou'wester, Prairie Schooner, Many Mountains Moving, and Puerto del Sol, as well as in various anthologies. Among his published books are Little Anodynes, 2016 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Poetry, The Translator's Diary, 2007 Green Rose Prize for Poetry from New Issues Press, and Birthmark, first-place winner in the 2003 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Awards. His novel Apology won the 2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize. His newest novel Let's No One Get Hurt (Picador, 2019) was originally published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Lodging Options

(of special interest to out-of-towners)

Two blocks of rooms at special rates have been set aside in the following hotels:

Hampton Inn and Suites
1880 Richmond Rd. Williamsburg, Virginia
Tel. no. 757-229-4900
Please indicate “Poetry Society of Virginia, PSV Festival” when making your reservation for the special group rate: $129, plus tax per room, two queen-size beds. Includes full breakfast for two.

NOTE: Reservations at the Hampton Inn and Suites need to be made by May 3rd to ensure availability at the PSV rate.

Holiday Inn Express and Suites
1452 Richmond Rd., Williamsburg, Virginia
Tel. no. 757-941-1057
Please indicate “Poetry Society of Virginia, Group Code PSV” when making your reservation for the special group rate: $115 plus tax per room, two queen-size beds or one-king size bed. Includes full breakfast for two.

NOTE: Reservations at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites must be made by April 16 to ensure availability at the PSV rate.

Available Festival Parking

On Friday evening, parking is free and often available on Richmond Road, very near Colonial Williamsburg and the College, as well as in the Merchant Square lot.

For Saturday, the most convenient parking would be in the parking garage at Prince George Street, entrance at 230 N. Henry Street, less than a third of a mile from Tucker Hall (English Department). Tucker Hall is the first academic building behind the Wren Building, angling to the right. Directions are easily accessible on line at www.wm.edu/about/visiting/campusmap. You may also refer to the maps below (see Maps & Directions) for the walking route from the garage as well as a drop-off option.

Questions?

Please contact Sofia Starnes, smstarnes@cox.net, or Mary Haines, mjshalom@cox.net.


Maps & Directions

Here are two maps, one with directions from the Prince George Street Parking Garage to Tucker Hall, at William and Mary, a 6-minute walk (less than a third of a mile). The other is a partial campus map, with highlighted directions from Richmond Road, into James Blair Drive, for a drop-off option right at Tucker Hall. Tucker Hall is marked as building No. 146 in the map. It’s the last building on the right before James Blair Drive exits the campus. Note that James Blair Drive is a one-way street.

Register by Mail

Click here to Download Registration Form

Please fill out the registration form, indicate your meal selections for lunch and the banquet, and send your check, payable to the Poetry Society of Virginia and postmarked no later than April 30, to: Sofia M. Starnes, 4951 Burnley Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188.