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poetry reading

Join us for the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival Poetry Reading, this year featuring poets Emily Davis-Fletcher (a finalist for the 2019 Sublingua Prize for Poetry), Gary Jackson (author of Missing You, Metropolis), Len Lawson (author of Chime and co-editor of Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race), and Elizabeth Robin (author of Where Green Meets Blue and Silk Purses and Lemonade), introduced by USCB Writer in Residence Ellen Malphrus.

The reading will be live-streamed from the ETV Lowcountry studio in Beaufort, SC. Join us on Zoom or watch the reading as a Facebook Live event on the Pat Conroy Literary Festival Facebook page.

The Pat Conroy Literary Festival is presented in partnership with ETV Lowcountry and made possible by the generous support of the Estate of Robert S. Handler.

About our presenters

Emily Davis-Fletcher earned her BFA in creative writing from Stephens College and her MA in women’s studies from the National University of Ireland Galway. Her poetry has been published in Southword, Crannóg Magazine, the Irish Examiner, and The High Window, among other journals. She has taught creativity and poetry workshops at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Pat Conroy Literary Center. In 2018, Emily was selected to read at the Cork International Poetry Festival Introductions Reading; and, most recently, her poem ‘Sow Calling’ was a finalist in the Sublingua Prize for Poetry 2019.

Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, Gary Jackson is the author of the poetry collection Missing You, Metropolis, which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including Callaloo, Tin House, Los Angeles Review of Books, Crab Orchard Review, and he’s been published in Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology. He was featured in the 2013 New American Poetry Series by the Poetry Society of America and is the recipient of both a Cave Canem and Bread Loaf fellowship. Jackson is a contributing essayist to A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-one Writers of Color on the New American South. He joined the Department of English at the College of Charleston in 2013, currently teaches in the MFA program as well as undergraduate creative writing, and is the associate poetry editor at Crazyhorse.

Len Lawson is the author of Chime and co-editor of Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He has received fellowships from Callaloo, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Weymouth Center for the Arts, and others. His poetry appears in Callaloo, African American Review, Ninth Letter, Verse Daily, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. Len is also a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning the 2020 IUP Outstanding Doctoral Student Award. He has taught English in South Carolina higher education for ten years. Learn more at www.lenlawson.co.

Elizabeth Robin, a retired high school teacher living on Hilton Head Island, has two collections of poetry through Finishing Line Press: Where Green Meets Blue and Silk Purses and Lemonade. A poet of witness and discovery, she relates both true and fictional stories about her Lowcountry present and world-traveling past. Also published in fiction and nonfiction, her work appears most recently in Blue Mountain Review, The Broadkill Review, i am not a silent poet, Good Juju, The Fourth River, Foliate Oak, and Reflections. Robin emcees a monthly open mic, and beginning in 2021 the April Kick-Start Poetry Month event for the Island Writers’ Network. In 2019 she began a partnership with BO Art to bring monthly literary programs to Hilton Head Island. Learn more: www.elizabethrobin.com

About our moderator

Ellen Malphrus lives and writes beside the May River in her native South Carolina Lowcountry and beneath the mountains of western Montana. She studied under James Dickey and was also mentored by her beloved friend Pat Conroy. She is a professor of English and the writer-in-residence at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, as well as deputy director of the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival. Her debut novel Untying the Moon was published by Pat Conroy’s Story River Books. Malphrus’s fiction, poetry, essays, and articles have appeared in publications including Southern Literary Journal, Review of Contemporary Fiction, William & Mary Review, James Dickey Review, Haight Ashbury Review, Georgia Poetry Review, Essence of Beaufort and the Lowcountry, SCG Lifestyle Magazine, and Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. She is most at home in nature, and her concern for wild places and creatures, particularly when it comes to coastal conservation, is evident in the fabric of her writing. Learn more at http://ellenmalphrus.com.

Photos as well as  short bios of all festival presenters are on the Presenter Page.
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