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Channeling Amanda Gorman: A Poetry Celebration!

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Channeling Amanda Gorman: Featuring Richard Blanco, Jim Daniels, Rick Hilles and students of The Dragonfly Cafe. A Zoom Poetry Celebration

About this Event

Please join us for this very special evening of poetry. Award-winning Booker Middle School teacher, Joanna Fox, has asked her students to write poems inspired by inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, who stole America’s heart on January 20th. They will share their poems at this special virtual event.

Joining in the celebration will be three distinguished poets. Richard Blanco, who was the inaugural poet for President Obama’s second inauguration will read the poem he wrote for that occasion. Poets Jim Daniels and Rick Hilles will read their own poems written for other momentous events.

Poetry is alive and well, its joyous fire stoked by Amanda Gorman.

There is no charge for this event but registration is needed for the Zoom link. The Zoom link will be sent prior to the event. After you have reserved your place, look for a confirmation via email.

About our poets:

Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco is the youngest and the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his four collections of poetry: How To Love a Country, City of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press; Directions to The Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for The Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award.

He has also authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of a Lambda Literary Award. His inaugural poem “One Today” was published as a children’s book, in collaboration with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey. Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler, challenges the physical and psychological dividing lines that shadow the United States. And his latest book of poems, How to Love a Country, both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals.

Purchase a copy of How to Love a Country here. Purchase a copy of The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood here.

Jim Daniels teaches at Carnegie Mellon University where he is Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English. His new book of poems, Gun/Shy will be published by Wayne State University Press in Fall 2021. Other recent books include his short fiction collection, The Perp Walk and his anthology, R E S P E C T: The Poetry of Detroit Music, co-edited with M. L. Liebler, both published by Michigan State University Press in 2019 and 2020 respectively. A native of Detroit, Daniels currently lives in Pittsburgh.

Purchase a copy of R E S P E C T: The Poetry of Detroit Music here.

Rick Hilles is the author of Brother Salvage (winner of the 2005 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and named 2006 Poetry Book of the Year by ForeWord Magazine) and A Map of the Lost World (February 2012), listed as a “Top Pick” on Library Journal’s website; both with the University of Pittsburgh Press. Among his honors are a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, and fellowships from the Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France), the Stegner Program at Stanford, the Institute for Creative Writing at U.W.-Madison, and the Fulbright Program. His poems, translations, and essays have appeared in Boston Review, Field, Harper’s, Literary Imagination, Michigan Quarterly Review, Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, and Salmagundi.

He is Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches all levels of poetry courses, including in the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Purchase copy of A Map of the Lost World here. Purchase a copy of Brother Salvage here.

Joanna Fox is a nationally recognized teacher, among her many awards are: Penguin Random House Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry (2018), USF Dean of the College of Education Lifetime Achievement Award (2017), International River of Words Teacher of the Year (2014), Scholastic National Art and Writing Outstanding Educator Award (2011), and multi-year winner of Florida Council Teachers of English, Teacher of Writing Award.

The Dragonfly Café began in 2004 when Joanna Fox launched the creative writing program at Booker Middle School. She organized a coffee house night for students and their parents, which she still does. The students get to read their work and the parents are able to see what the students work on all year.

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Click here to go to the Bookstore1Sarasota website.


		Channeling Amanda Gorman: A Poetry Celebration! image

Richard Blanco


		Channeling Amanda Gorman: A Poetry Celebration! image

Jim Daniels


		Channeling Amanda Gorman: A Poetry Celebration! image

Rick Hilles


		Channeling Amanda Gorman: A Poetry Celebration! image

Joanna Fox

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