WCU’s Annual Poetry Conference Hailed as ‘the Nation’s Most Intellectually Rigorous’

Image via West Chester University.

The Poetry Center at West Chester University is gearing up for the 24th Annual Poetry Conference, entitled “Setting Out for the Sublime: Voice, Verse & Craft.”

The conference is slated for June 5-8, and all events take place at the Sykes Student Union located at 110 West Rosedale Avenue. Information and details can be found here.

The West Chester University Poetry Conference (WCUPC) is the nation’s only all-poetry writing conference dedicated to formal verse and is considered the premier conference for formal poetry and versification. Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “the nation’s most intellectually rigorous conference for poets,” the conference offers workshops in traditional poetic craft and provides a national forum to discuss major trends in contemporary poetry.

This year’s Keynote Speaker is American poet David Yezzi, who also leads a three-day critical seminar on American master Anthony Hecht. Yezzi authored Birds of Air, Black Seas, and many other books of poetry. He is the former director of the Unterberg Poetry Center at New York’s 92nd Street Y and is now the chair of the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

“West Chester’s poetry conference stands out among other writers’ conferences for its unique focus on the traditional craft of poetry and for the way it combines a writers’ conference with a scholarly conference,” said Jesse Waters, WCUPC Program Director. “Writers, critics, and students mix together in a notably friendly and informal atmosphere.”

WCUPC attracts a diverse group of poets as both attendees and workshop leaders. Eight one-day or three-day workshops are offered on a variety of topics ranging from “Song Lyrics for Poets” and “Stealing From Other Poets” to “Finding Your Form” and “Jumpstart Your Engines.” Workshop Leaders are all published poets of national and international renown and include Yezzi, as well as: Robert Archambeau, Ned Balbo, Al Basile, Jericho Brown, Susan de Sola, George Green, Amy Lemmon, Shirley Lim, Jane Satterfield, J.D. Smith, and Kathrine Varnes.

“What makes this conference a ‘unicorn’ of an experience is its diversity in faculty and workshops to encourage engagement in formal poetry in a way that is exciting, passionate, and progressive,” said Waters. “Many people think poetry is old or stodgy, but at this conference, that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

This year, a new pricing structure ensures affordability for both graduate and undergraduate students. Cost to attend ranges from $99 to $549, based on the number of programs attended and housing needs (housing is offered on WCU’s campus for an additional cost.) Meals are included in the price of registration.

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