Annual festival begins with poetry
By Kelsey Hoff
The English and Humanities Festival (previously known as the Parkside Writer's Conference) kicked off Tuesday, May 1, with a reading from Poetry 206/406 students led by Mark Bilbrey. This event was held in the Fine Arts Gallery of the new Rita building, so the poets were surrounded by artwork. Bilbrey gave the class a glowing introduction. He recounted their harrowing semester of illnesses, expulsions, and personal crises, but praised the remaining students for their perseverance and hard work. The students had even held workshops on days that he was sick.
One notable student, Nick Knebel, had his poem "The River, Part 2" published in Straylight Literary Arts Magazine, and won a prize in the magazine's poetry contest.
The students read original work that ranged in subject matter from daily personal experiences to life-changing national events. Their styles differed as well; some opted for prescriptive rhyme and meter, while others fancied free verse. The student poets shared thoughts about their development as an artist, and the class had obviously helped them grow. Some 406 students noted that their styles changed from last semester to this one.
More information about the English and Humanities Festival is on the UW-Parkside web site.