Common Book Events / National Poetry Month

“People like poetry like people like music: nobody doesn’t. If some think they don’t, they just haven’t listened to the right thing.”
–Richard Kenney, UW professor and poet

You Are Never Where You AreDid you know that April is National Poetry Month? You Are Never Where You Are, the 2010-11 UW Common Book, is a collection of poems designed to celebrate creativity, individual voices, and language. This month, the UW Common Book and campus partners bring you a slew of poetic opportunities. From major events with national poets like “Poetry: From Pulitzer to Performance” to a film series and Seattle’s first installment of the acclaimed Encyclopedia Show, you’ll find your verse-based tune–maybe its rhythm will even be in iambic pentameter.

Celebrate imagination, voice, and persistence this April.
Celebrate National Poetry Month.

Note: This email highlights a few National Poetry Month events at the UW. To learn about the planned film series and other opportunities, like the UW Common Book on Facebook.

Poetry: From Pulitzer to Performance

Philip LevineKen ArkindBe inspired by Philip Levine and Ken Arkind as they share their work and answer questions at this one-of-a-kind event featuring two very different artists. Emceed by UW English professor and novelist Shawn Wong. Open to all.

April 19, 2011 | 7 p.m.
Kane Hall | Map to Kane Hall
RSVP for priority seating

Philip Levine, pictured above left, is the author of 20 collections of poetry and has received the Pulitzer Prize, has been awarded the National Book Award twice as well as many additional honors. When asked what led him to poetry, he said, “It was a freshman composition class.” Read the complete interview here. Levine writes of physical labor and the working class, drawn from his own experiences growing up and working in Detroit. Levine’s poem, “What Work Is,” is featured in the 2010 UW Common Book.

Ken Arkind, pictured above right, is a National Poetry Slam Champion and a Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe Grand Slam Champion. Arkind has performed at over 200 colleges and universities, and has shared stages with such artists as Yusef Komunyakaa, Matt Matson, Ani DiFranco and Sage Francis. In Denver, he works as executive director and head coach for the Denver Minor Disturbance Youth Poetry Project. His work has been featured in numerous anthologies and published by Write Bloody Press and Sketch Publications. Arkind’s poem, “An Experiment in Noise, in A Sharp Major,” is featured in the 2010 UW Common Book.


Small Group Discussion with Philip Levine

Students: This Q & A is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet with Philip Levine–one of America’s premier poets–in a small group setting. Levine’s work has been honored with the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award as well as other awards. Come prepared to meet one of the poets who has shaped contemporary poetry.

For UW students only.


April 19, 2011 | 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Parrington Hall Forum, room 309 | Map to Parrington Hall
Space is limited; registration required. Sign up here.

Small Group Discussion and Mini-Workshop with Ken Arkind

Students: Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Ken Arkind in a small group. Arkind will discuss his work and lead a mini-workshop. Arkind is a National Poetry Slam champion and long-time slam poetry coach. Bring your questions about the intersection of poetry and performance for this unique time with one of slam poetry’s top poets and performers.

For UW students only.


April 19, 2011 | 3-4 p.m.
Parrington Hall Forum, room 309 | Map to Parrington Hall
Space is limited; registration required. Sign up here.


Manic Mouth Congress presents:
The Encyclopedia Show: Bears!

BearAll are welcome to join Manic Mouth Congress and put forth UW Seattle’s own verbal encyclopedia entry on the topic of bears!

Brought to you from the minds of Chicago-based poets and producers Robbie Q Telfer and Shanny Jean Maney, The Encyclopedia Show is a live variety extravaganza that commissions local and touring artists and experts from many disciplines to use their individual talents to present a different verbal encyclopedia entry each month. The Encyclopedia Show endeavors to build an a ge-integrated community cultivating accidental knowledge and irreverent loving-kindness. Contributors to this event are poets, storytellers, and musicians from the UW and the greater Seattle area.

April 22, 2011 | 7 p.m.
Kane Hall, room 210 | Map to Kane Hall

Sponsored by ASUW, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, UW Common Book, and SAUF.


Bonus! Don’t miss the UW Slam Poetry team on the April edition of UW 360! It premieres Wednesday, April 6 at 10 p.m. on UWTV. If you miss the premiere, you can catch it each Wednesday night at 10 p.m. Check your local listings or check it out online.


The UW Common Book is a project Undergraduate Academic Affairs’ Office of the Dean and First Year Programs.

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