The Poetry Center offers a variety of programs and activities that help expand its mission of bringing poetry to an ever-widening audience.
The West Chester University Poetry Conference (WCUPC) is the nation's premier all-poetry writing conference. WCUPC is unique because it offers workshops in traditional poetic craft, and provides a national forum to discuss major trends in contemporary poetry. As critic Carlin Romano noted, it is "the nation's most intellectually rigorous conference for poets." (Philadelphia Inquirer). The conference is June 7 - 10, 2017.
The Poetry Center administers the following awards and activities:
The West Chester University Poetry Center offers an active, interesting, and diverse slate of activities. We invite you to join us and discover the joys of poetry.
The West Chester University Poetry Center was created in 2000 to further the study and appreciation of poetry. The goals of the Poetry Center are to:
The West Chester University Poetry Center Advisory Board supports the overall objectives of the West Chester University Poetry Center, including the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards, through promotional and fund raising activities.
Board members are identified and recommended by the members of the WCU Poetry Center Advisory Board and the Program Director of the Poetry Center in consultation with the West Chester University Advancement Office. All appointments to the Board are approved and made by the President of West Chester University. The Board is composed of members/advocates of the arts community, University alumni, and local and national business and civic leaders.
Current Board Members:
Lorna Knowles Blake
The Faculty Advisory Committee’s purpose is to support the mission of the WCU Poetry Center, as articulated in its founding NEH endowment grant: "to create an environment in which humanities and arts are integrated, and focused on the broader implications of Poetry".Specifically, the committee’s charge is to:
Current Faculty Advisory Committee Members:
Kristine Ervin, English
Len Kelly, Theater
Ruth Porritt, Philosophy
LuAnn Smith, English
Sarah Kate Stewart, Art & Design
Van Stiefel, Music
Poetry Conference Video
Ryan Wilson is the winner of the 2017 Donald Justice Poetry Award. Wilson, a Baltimore resident, is a widely published poet and translator, and is currently completing graduate work at the Catholic University of America. The award includes publication of his manuscript, The Stranger World, a $1500 cash prize, a full scholarship to the West Chester University Poetry Conference, and a reading from the book at the awards panel on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 7. The judge for the competition, award-winning poet Chelsea Rathburn, remarked that Wilson’s manuscript “clearly stood out from the other submissions.”The Justice Award is funded by the Iris N. Spencer Endowment. The endowment, a subsidiary of the West Chester University Foundation, was created by Kean W. Spencer in honor of his mother’s commitment to reading and literacy.
Bruce Bennett's poem, The Princess of War, The Queen of Nowhere, was featured on the Poetry Daily website on January 4, 2017.
Bennett, this year's Poet-In-Residence, will be at West Chester University March 26 - 29, 2017.
West Chester Poetry Conference is mentioned in article on Robert Conquest's muses - Link
Poet Sam Gwynn on Robert Conquest's Literary Achievements - Link
Dana Gioia, co-founder of the West Chester University Poetry Conference, named Poet Laureate of California.
View the press release here.