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SUNY Potsdam Welcomes Renowned Poet Martin Espada, Along With Slew of Visiting Writers, For LoKo Festival

04.29.16
The renowned poet Martín Espada will speak at SUNY Potsdam’s LoKo Festival on May 5.

SUNY Potsdam will welcome a number of authors to campus and host creative writing and spoken word events during the 2016 Lougheed-Kofoed Festival of the Arts, from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 8.

The College is proud to welcome renowned poet Martín Espada for a presentation and public reading during the LoKo Festival. Espada will lead a presentation on the craft of poetry on Thursday, May 5 at 12:30 p.m. in Flagg Hall Room 238, and he will offer a public poetry reading that same evening at 6 p.m. in Kellas Hall Room 105.

Espada has published almost 20 books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His new collection, "Vivas to Those Who Have Failed," was recently published by Norton. Espada's many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, the American Book Award, a PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His book, "The Republic of Poetry," was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

The Department of English and Communication will present a Visiting Writers Series once again during this year's festival, as well as ongoing presentations on "The Writer's Craft." In addition, graduating seniors in the department's selective Bachelor of Fine Arts program in creative writing will offer readings of their works.

The SUNY Potsdam Department of Theatre and Dance has also sponsored a number of spoken word events to take place during the LoKo Festival.

All events are free, and the public is invited to attend. For a full schedule of events, visit www.potsdam.edu/loko.

The festival's creative writing highlights include:

·Friday, April 29: The nationally certified Pure Ink Poetry collective will lead a workshop at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theater in SUNY Potsdam's Performing Arts Center.

·Saturday, April 30: Participants in the North Country Schools Peace Poetry Contest, which is open to area students in grades K-12, will read their entries and accept awards at 10 a.m. in Dunn Theater. There will be a Pure Ink Poetry workshop at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theater.

·Sunday, May 1: The Pure Ink Poetry collective will offer a live performance at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theater. At 4 p.m., Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg will offer a workshop on "The World asWriting Prompt," at 4 p.m. in the Knowles Conference Center. There will be a spoken word performance with original works by the SUNY Potsdam Performance Poets at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theater.

·Monday, May 2: Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg will offer a public reading from her latest books at 10 a.m. in the Fireside Lounge, located in the Barrington Student Union. V. V. Ganeshananthan will lead a presentation on "Reported Imagination: Research and Creative Work" at noon in the Fireside Lounge, followed by a reading from her novel at 2 p.m. in the same space. There will be a showcase including readings from the graduating BFA seniors Dan Cretaro, Ellen Ricks and Marcus Wolf at 5 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge. At 6 p.m., Kuukua Yomekpe will lead a workshop on dance writing in the Dance Theater in the Performing Arts Center. This event is open to people ages 15 and up, and participants are asked to dress comfortably, bring a notebook and not to wear fragrances.

·Tuesday, May 3: Valerie Wetlaufer will lead a presentation on "Documentary Politics: Incorporating Research and Historical Documents in Poetry," at 10 a.m. in the Fireside Lounge, followed by a reading from her book at 4 p.m. in the same space. There will be a BFA Showcase including readings from graduating seniors Sarah Bean, Rosanna Boswell and Melissa Phelan at 5 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge.

·Wednesday, May 4: Joanna Luloff will offer a presentation, "Write Away from What You Know: Explore How to Make the Familiar Strange," at 10 a.m. in the Fireside Lounge, followed by a reading from her book at 4 p.m. in the same space.

·Thursday, May 5: Matthew Vollmer will offer a presentation, "Expanding and Dissolving Genre: Considering Forms of Representation," at 10 a.m. in the Fireside Lounge. Martin Espada will present on "The Craft of Poetry" at 12:30 p.m. in Flagg Hall Room 238. At 4 p.m., Vollmer will read from his book in the Fireside Lounge. Espada's public reading will be offered at 6 p.m. in Kellas Hall Room 105.

·Friday, May 6: Tony Leuzzi '92 will offer readings of his poetry at noon in the Fireside Lounge, followed by a presentation on "The Art of the Literary Conversations with America's Poets" at 2 p.m. in the same space.

·Sunday, May 8: Sister Outsider, a duo of World Poetry Slam champions, will offer a public performance at 5 p.m. in the Black Box Theater.

About the other visiting writers and poets:

Kuukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe characterizes herself as a transdisciplinary artist, choreographing West African dance forms, creating Western versions of Ghanaian recipes and penning memoirs, essays and social commentaries. Her scholarly and writing interests lie at the intersection of race and skin color, African culture, black women's bodies, the expression of voice and non-conformance.

V.V. Ganeshananthan is a fiction writer and journalist, currently teaching at the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic and Columbia Journalism Review, among others. The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and the National Endowment for the Arts awarded her fellowships in 2014. Her novel, "Love Marriage," was longlisted for the Orange Prize, named one of The Washington Post's Best of 2008, and translated into several languages. She writes frequently about Sri Lanka and its diaspora communities, and is at work on a second novel, excerpts of which have appeared in Granta, Ploughshares and the Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014.

Tony Leuzzi '92 is the author of two books of poetry, "Radiant Losses" and "The Burning Door." In 2012, BOA Editions published "Passwords Primeval," Leuzzi's interviews with 20 American poets. A review writer and critic for the Brooklyn Rail and Scout Poetry, he is also a visual artist whose work incorporates collage and erasure.

Joanna Luloff received her MFA from Emerson College and her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. Before all of those years of graduate school, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Baddegama, Sri Lanka. Her short stories have appeared in the Missouri Review, Confrontation, Memorious and New South, and her collection, "The Beach at Galle Road," was published by Algonquin Books in 2012. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg served as the Kansas Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2013. She is the author or editor of 19 books, including "Chasing Weather: Tornadoes, Tempests and Thunderous Skies in Word and Image," the memoir "Poem on the Range: A Poet Laureate's Love Song to Kansas," a novel, "The Divorce Girl," a non-fiction book, "Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Each Other" and "The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community & Coming Home to the Body."

Pure Ink Poetry is a slam poetry group housing various styles of performance, among the most eclectic in Western New York. These poets have performed on campuses and in venues all over New York, Texas and Canada. Many of the poets offer workshops on writing and performing, and in some cases even breakdancing.

Matthew Vollmer is the author of two books of stories, including "Future Missionaries of America" and the forthcoming "Gateway to Paradise," as well as "Inscriptions for Headstones," a collection of essays. He is co-editor of "Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, 'Found' Texts and Other Fraudulent Artifacts." He directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Virginia Tech.

Valerie Wetlaufer is the author of "Call Me by My Other Name" and "Mysterious Acts by My People," and is also the editor of Adrienne, a poetry journal for queer women. She holds an MFA from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah.

The SUNY Potsdam Department of English and Communication challenges students to complete a core of courses that explore the varied ways that people speak, write and read. The department offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as SUNY's only BFA program in creative writing. For more information, visit www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/Engl.

These are just a few of the many guest artists taking part in this year's festival. To keep up with the latest, visit www.facebook.com/lokofestival.

North Country Public Radio is the media sponsor for the 2016 Lougheed-Kofoed Festival of the Arts at SUNY Potsdam.

For a full schedule and listing of events, visit www.potsdam.edu/loko.

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Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam's arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community.

Media contact:

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, Office of Public Affairs,
(315) 267-2918