Poetry Festival coming to campus

A poetry festival featuring former Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Fusao Inada and other musicians, authors, and poets will be held at Southern Oregon University next Friday and Saturday, April 15-16.

“It’s a collaborative project,” said Inada. “It’s a showcase for SOU, for all the creative departments.”

Although Inada is the headliner of the show, the two-day festival features the work of local and guest artists and includes everything from a panel discussion on collaboration in the arts to a performance by the SOU Black Student Union Step Team.

Inada is working with Terry Longshore and Todd Barton, both professors at SOU, to combine poetry with music.

“I’ve done this before with Lawson,” said Barton, a composer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Adjunct Faculty Member with the SOU Department of Music. “About ten years ago at the Schneider Museum. I’ve been very lucky and honored to work with these guys.”

“The music and the poetry are a collaboration,” said Longshore, Director of Percussion Studies at SOU. “Todd and I will be playing music while Lawson is reciting. All of the music will be improvised.”

The festival will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art, and will end Saturday afternoon. For more information, go to http://poetry.sou.edu/.

“I think this will be the start of something,” said Inada. “This is going to be an ensemble, it’s not just going to be me and a backup band.”

 

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