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  #1  
Unread 10-01-2015, 08:04 AM
R. S. Gwynn's Avatar
R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Default West Chester University Poetry Conference 2016

This is the first day of my one-year contract as program director of the West Chester Poetry Conference on Form and Narrative. I hope to build on the 20 earlier conferences put together by Mike Peich and Kim Bridgford and offer a 2016 event (June 8-11) that will include old and new workshop leaders, several resident younger poets, and panels that will address exciting topics that haven't been covered before. So far we have faculty members committed--Dick Davis, Caki Wilkinson, Sarah Cortez, William Logan, Pat Myers, and our own John Whitworth; I hope to announce the rest of the faculty soon. Dana Gioia, Timothy Murphy, and Alfred Corn will offer one-day workshops, and there will be two or three critical seminars. I am still working on the keynote speaker.

My first priority is to get the conference website updated and running. Please be patient as we work to restore it. Feel free to email me at rsgwynn1@cs.com or call me at 409-350-9602 (not until this evening, please, as I have medical appointments in Houston today). This is a part-time position, and I will be working primarily from home--circumstances that fit nicely with my plans to retire from full-time teaching after 40 years at Lamar University. Ann Mascherino, also part-time, will be handling the logistics of the conference at West Chester, and her contact information will be posted on the website.

I have been in on the planning of the conference from before the first one, and I have attended 19 of 20 past conferences, serving as faculty member, critical seminar leader, and participant on so many panels (4 of them in 2014) that I can't list them all. One of the many pleasures of past years has been meeting so many eratosphereans in person, and I hope to see many of you there. I hope you'll share my excitement in putting together the best possible conference for next year.

Sam Gwynn
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  #2  
Unread 10-01-2015, 08:18 AM
E. Shaun Russell E. Shaun Russell is offline
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Congrats, Sam. Will there be a call for papers?
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  #3  
Unread 10-01-2015, 08:36 AM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Shaun, we aren't an academic conference. There will be panel discussions on craft matters and individual poets, and I'm open to suggestions about possible topics.
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Unread 10-01-2015, 03:27 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Congrats, Sam, and it's great to see this restarted. I'm planning to be there, and looking forward to catching up with old friends, meeting John Whitworth at last, and figuring out how to make a strong (and positive) impression on William Logan. It was also good to see Caki Wilkinson on the faculty list - she was a house guest when she read at Powow a year or so ago, and she's young and talented and the real deal. Looking forward to it.
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Unread 10-01-2015, 03:57 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Sam, this may be outside your jurisdiction as director of the conference, but I would like some answers about why the winners of the Donald Justice Poetry Prize have been utterly abandoned in terms of making their books available. My 2014 winning book is no longer available through Amazon (except used) and for months I could not get my hands on any copies at all, despite repeated attempts. Eventually, once Ann Mascherino was put in charge, I could order some copies for myself. But without the press supplying the book to any of the major vendors, the book is likely to languish. I know that Julie Kane is in the same boat, and Stephen Gibson, the other 2014 winner, has complained of the same treatment. When the conference sponsors a prize such as this, has it no obligations to the authors? Much as I have benefited from the conference in the past, I find it hard to feel the same about it after such experiences.

Susan
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Unread 10-02-2015, 07:19 AM
Terese Coe Terese Coe is offline
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They couldn't have chosen a more knowledgeable and simpatico program director! Congratulations, Sam!

I will be on the lookout for more news as it comes out.

Last edited by Terese Coe; 10-02-2015 at 10:36 AM.
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Unread 10-02-2015, 10:31 AM
Alex Pepple Alex Pepple is offline
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Congratulations, Sam! I know you'll do a wonderful job bringing the conference--with its rich history and tradition--back. It looks like you're already have an enticing cast signed up ... including Eratosphereans, such as our very own and notable Tim Murphy and John Whitworth! I look more news and the website.

Cheers,
...Alex
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Unread 10-02-2015, 11:29 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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I don't envy you the task of reviving the conference under such mysterious and acrimonious circumstances, but if anyone can do it, it's you, Sam. More power to you.

It's a crying shame that Susan's prize-winning The Whetstone Misses the Knife is unavailable for purchase, except in second-hand copies or via Susan herself. I bought five copies to give as gifts (okay, I'm keeping one), and can attest that the book is definitely worthy of a wider audience. Perhaps she'll post details on how to order it over at The Accomplished Members.

Ditto for the other winners. Good books should be promoted and obtainable, not left in limbo like this.
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Unread 10-02-2015, 12:04 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Julie, I've talked (emailed) with both Susan and Julie Kane. I'm going up to WCUPA in two weeks and will investigate the Justice books situation while there. Solving this problem is one of my priorities but not the highest one right now, as you can well imagine. Getting the website up and finalizing faculty are the two most pressing matters.
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Unread 10-02-2015, 12:31 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Very glad to hear it! Thanks, Sam.
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