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Renowned poets to visit College for National Poetry Month

By Robbyn Hopewell
Published March 28, 2023
Categories: About Eckerd, Community Engagement, Creative Writing, Public Events
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Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama is one of three guest poets to participate in Eckerd’s National Poetry Month reading series. Photo by David Pugh

Three public readings and discussions scheduled for April

The Eckerd College Creative Arts Collegium has invited three renowned, award-winning poets to St. Petersburg to celebrate National Poetry Month with evening readings on the College’s campus and at the Salvador Dalí Museum on April 6, April 12 and April 20. Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month celebrates poets’ integral role in our culture.

The Eckerd reading series will kick off at the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences at Eckerd College, 4200 54th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33711. Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama—whose work centers on themes of language, power, conflict and religion—will share select pieces at 7 p.m. April 6. He is the author of several books of poetry, and his collection Poetry Unbound (W.W. Norton & Company, 2022) is an expansion of a podcast of the same name that offers reflections on 50 powerful poems.

In collaboration with the Dalí Museum’s monthly Poetry at the Dalí Series, Eckerd will welcome Victoria Chang to read from her forthcoming book of poems, With My Back to the World, in the Dalí Museum Will Raymund Theater at 6:30 p.m. April 12. The Guggenheim Fellow’s poetry collection OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020) was named a New York Times Notable Book and a Time Must-Read Book and received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry and the PEN/Voelcker Award.

To wrap up the celebration, Rooja Mohassessy will take to the stage at Eckerd’s Helmar and Enole Nielsen Center for Visual Arts at 7 p.m. April 20. The Iranian-born poet and educator is a MacDowell Fellow and the author of When Your Sky Runs Into Mine (Elixir Press, 2023)—winner of the 22nd Annual Elixir Poetry Prize. The Eckerd College Spread the Words reading series is supported by the Dr. Peter Meinke Endowment for Creative Writing.

Victoria Chang (Photo by Pat Cray)

Rooja Mohassessy