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Date & Time: Saturday, October 28, 2023 | 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM EDT
Location: USC Beaufort Center for the Arts | 805 Carteret St., Beaufort, SC 29902
Virtual: None
Cost: $10
Registration: Eventbrite Click the “Get Tickets” button and choose desired event.

Why Poetry Matters, panel discussion with poets Ron Rash (Poems: New and Selected), Jennifer Bartell Boykin (Traveling Mercy), Freya Manfred (When I Was Young and Old), and Tim Conroy (No True Route), moderated by Ellen Malphrus. Ticketed, $10. Book signing afterwards. (USC Beaufort Center for the Arts, 805 Carteret St., Beaufort)

About the poets:

Ron RashRon Rash is the author of the PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to the critically acclaimed novels The RisenAbove the WaterfallThe CoveOne Foot in EdenSaints at the RiverThe World Made Straight, and, most recently, The Caretaker. He is also the author of five collections of poems and seven collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, Nothing Gold Can Stay, a New York Times bestseller, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Three times the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, his books have been translated into seventeen languages. He teaches at Western Carolina University.

Poet Laureate of Columbia, South Carolina, and a 2023 Academy of American Poets Laureate FellowJennifer Bartell Boykin is the author of Traveling Mercy (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press). Her poetry has appeared in ObsidianCallaloo, the Raleigh Reviewkinfolks: a journal of black expressionthe museum of americana: a literary review, and Scalawag. Bartell Boykin is the recipient of fellowships from Callaloo and The Watering Hole. She teaches creative writing and English dual-enrollment courses at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, where she was named the 2019–20 Teacher of the Year. She is also an American Library Association Spectrum Scholar  and an Augusta Baker Scholar at the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science, where she is pursuing her master of library and information science degree. Bartell Boykin was born and raised in Bluefield, a Black community in Johnsonville, South Carolina.

Freya ManfredFreya Manfred is a poet, memoirist, and teacher. She is the author of ten books of poetry, including Swimming with A Hundred Year Old Snapping Turtle, Speak, Mother and Loon in Late November Water, which The Minneapolis Star and Tribune praised for her ability to “confronts aging while celebrating poetry as an accessible and practical tool for living.” Her poems have appeared in more than 100 reviews and magazines. Freya has received a Harvard/Radcliffe Fellow in Poetry Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, a Minnesota Poetry Award. She has been a Resident Fellow at Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony. She is also the author of the memoirs Frederick Manfred: A Daughter Remembers and Raising Twins: A True Life Adventure. She lives in Stillwater, MN, with her husband, screenwriter Thomas Pope.

Author of the collections A Theology of Terrain  and No True Route, Tim Conroy is a poet and former educator. His work has appeared in Fall Lines, Jasper Magazine, Marked by the Water, Sheltered, Twelve Mile Review, Poetry on the Comet, The Post and Courier, Ukweli: Searching for Healing Truth, and Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. In 2022, he received the Broad River Prize for prose from Fall Lines, Volume IX. A founding board member of the Pat Conroy Literary Center established in his brother’s honor, Tim, and his wife Terrye, live in Dunedin, Florida.

About the moderator:

Ellen Malphrus is a professor of English and the Writer in Residence at USC Beaufort, where she was honored as Professor of the Year in 2022. She is the author of the novel Untying the Moon and numerous poetry and prose pieces appearing in literary journals, scholarly journals, anthologies, and books including Poetry SouthHaight Ashbury Review, James Dickey ReviewSouthern Literary JournalWilliam & Mary Review, Review of Contemporary FictionWeber—the Contemporary West, and Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy.

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