Poetry Slam, PBS’s Language Matters host and Poet Bob Holman Set for April 19

Marist College

Marist continues its celebration of National Poetry Month

A student poetry slam, a Writing Salon, and screening with poet Bob Holman will take place Wednesday, April 19, as Marist continues its celebration of National Poetry Month.

Starting at 5 p.m. in the the Steel Plant Studio Art Gallery, Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City and host of the landmark PBS program Language Matters, will host a Writing Salon. Holman founded the legendary Bowery Poetry Club in 2001. For his decades of work in service to the arts community in New York and beyond, he has received numerous awards, including New York University’s Community Citizen of the Year award in 2005, the Elizabeth Kray Poetry award in 2006, and the 2012 Urban Word Champion Award. From 2007 to 2010, Holman was Visiting Professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is the author of sixteen poetry collections, including his most recent Sing This One Back to Me.

In 2015, Language Matters with Bob Holman, a documentary exploring the endangered language crisis, aired nationally on PBS. Filmed around the world, Language Matters takes viewers to a remote island off the Australian coast, where four hundred Aboriginal people speak ten distinct indigenous languages, all at risk; to Wales, where Welsh, once endangered, has recovered; and to Hawaii, where Hawaiians are fighting to save their native tongue.

Holman’s Writing Salon will include a screening of his short film Khonsay, followed by a Q&A session with audience members. That same evening, Holman will serve as judge for the 13th Annual Red Fox Poetry Slam, held in the Cabaret at 9 p.m. To find out more on Holman and his work, visit his website at bobholman.com.

The Marist Writing Salons were created in 2014 to bring Writing together with other disciplines on campus. This Writing Salon with Bob Holman is sponsored via collaboration by the School of Liberal Arts and the Steel Plant Art Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

Read, watch, and listen to members of the Marist community discuss their favorite poems as part of the MaristPoetryProject


The Red Fox Poetry Slam will start at 9 p.m.in the Cabaret of the Murray Student Center. Admission is free and all are invited to come cheer on student poets as they compete for prizes with their original poetry.

Now in its 13th year, the Poetry Slam includes two elimination rounds, with an audience poetry activity between rounds so all have a chance to participate. There will be food available, as well. The judges for this year’s Slam are all award-winning poets: Bob Holman, Virginia Konchan and Claire Hero.

Are you a Marist student interested in competing in this year’s Slam? There’s still time to join the fun! Students interested in signing up should email Professor Tommy Zurhellen, Chair of the English Department, or call (845) 575-3000, ext. 2381. The deadline to sign up for the Slam is Friday, April 7.

This event is sponsored by the Literary Arts Society, with support from the English Department.

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