Marilyn Nelson is special guest at 44th CCNY Poetry Festival

Marilyn Nelson

Award-winning poet and author Marilyn Nelson is the guest poet at the 44th annual City College Poetry Festival, Friday, May 13. Up to 150 students from 50 schools are expected to recite their poems at this year’s event, dubbed “the Woodstock of the Spoken Word.” The all-day, all-verse event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Marian Anderson Theater of City College’s Aaron Davis Hall.

“The City College Poetry Festival is the democratic voice of poetry in New York City public schools,” said Pamela L. Laskin, a lecturer in the CCNY’s English department and director of the CCNY Poetry Outreach Center.  “Its assumption is there are many poets, and they all have terrific stories to tell. This would make Walt Whitman proud.”

Some of the children who participated in the festival’s early years are now teachers who bring their classes.

“In 1975, I introduced a third grade student to the audience of cheering students, teachers, friends and family,” recalled Barry Wallenstein, CCNY professor emeritus and former festival director. “In 1996, this same individual returned to the festival at City and introduced the readers from her fourth grade class.”

The festival offers the Knopf Publishers Prize to the top three winners and a special award to the best poem in a foreign language.  In addition to a reading by Nelson, there will readings by college students, faculty, alumni and published poets.

Click here for more information or please contact Pamela L. Laskin at (212) 650-6356.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science; Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; School of Education; Grove School of Engineering; Sophie Davis Biomedical Education/CUNY School of Medicine; and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.

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