New England College is excited to be teaming up with the New Hampshire Writers’ Project (NHWP) to kickoff the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Poetry programs’ 10th Anniversary. Poetry AND Politics is the theme of the first New Hampshire Book Festival sponsored by NHWP. NEC is going to host two poet laureates, Walter E. Butts, New Hampshire State Poet Laureate, and Dick Allen, Connecticut State Poet Laureate, a high school student from John Stark Regional High School who participated in this year’s Poetry Out Loud program, and three MFA student poets: Janet Barry ’07, Ivy Page ’09, and Dawn Coutu ’12 on Friday, October 14, 2011 from 12:00-3:00pm. This event will be held in the Great Room of the Simon Center at New England College and is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Cristy McGuinness at CMcGuinness@nec.edu or (603) 428-2906.
Bios of Guest Poets
Walter E. Butts-
Walter Butts is a resident of Manchester who teaches at Hesser College’s Manchester campus and at a low residency Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt. He is an American poet and the Poet Laureate of New Hampshire. His most recent book is Sunday Evening at the Stardust Cafe (1st World Library), which was a finalist for the 2005 Philip Levine Prize in Poetry from the California State University, Fresno and won the Iowa Source Poetry Book Prize. He has also received a Pushcart Prize nomination. He also has two other books of poetry, Movies in a Small Town and The Required Dance, in addition to several chapbooks.
His work has been published in such literary journals as The Atlanta Review, Poetry East, Cimarron Review, Mid-American Review, Slant, PoetryMotel, Poet Lore and Spillway and anthologized in Emerson of Harvard (2003), Tokens: Contemporary Poetry of the Subway (P&Q Press, New York), and The Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry (1997). He has also written reviews of other poets' works, including Tell Them We Were Here by David Kelly, a Rochester, New York-area poet.
Allen, one of America's leading poets, is preeminent among poets who encourage
new sensibilities in poetry and who have brought to contemporary poetry a large
array of subjects other than the "self" and styles other than
confessional free verse.
A masterful poet of wide reputation, Allen has published in the nation's premier journals including Poetry, the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Hudson Review, New Republic, and New Criterion, as well as in scores of national anthologies. He has published seven poetry collections and won numerous awards including a Pushcart Prize, the Robert Frost prize, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Ingram Merrill Poetry Foundation, and six inclusions in The Best American Poetry annual volumes. Allen's most recent collection, Present Vanishing: Poems (Sarabande Books), received the 2009 Connecticut Book Award for Poetry.
An acclaimed public speaker and poetry reader, Allen has led poetry workshops and seminars and served as a judge for various competitions and selection committees in Connecticut (including Poetry Out Loud State Finals in 2007 and a POL workshop for teachers in 2009) and at the national level.
His poems have been featured on Poetry Daily and Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac and in Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry, as well as recently on the national websites of Tricycle, where he was a guest poet writing on Zen Buddhism and poetry, and on the Smartish Pace poetry website.
Prior to his early retirement, Allen was Charles A. Dana Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Bridgeport (UB) where he taught from 1968 to 2001. During his distinguished teaching career, he was highly regarded and well-loved by students of all ages - particularly for his generosity of spirit and ability to mentor and nurture both beginning and accomplished poets. While at UB, he directed the University's Visiting Writers Series (open to the general public) which brought fifty of the nation's leading poets to Connecticut, and created and taught a wide range of courses, including international poetry and fiction, to a diverse student body.
Janet Barry `07-
Barry is a New Hampshire musician and poet, with works published or forthcoming
in a number of journals and anthologies, including Damselfly, Off-the-Coast,
Ragged-Sky Press, Tygerburning, and the Christian Science Monitor. She
has twice been judge for Poetry Out Loud, and received a Pushcart Nomination
for her poem Winter Barn. Janet holds a BM in organ performance from University
of New Hampshire, and an MFA in poetry from New England College.
Ivy Page `09-
Ivy Graduated from Plymouth State University with a BA in English and minor in Medieval Studies, and went on to complete her MFA in Creative Writing at New England College. She currently teaches writing courses at colleges throughout New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in journals and has been anthologized nationally, and her first book Any Other Branch, will be available through Salmon Poetry of Ireland in March 2012. Her second book, Elemental, will be out with Salmon Poetry in 2014. She is the editor and founder of Organs of Vision and Speech Magazine.
Dawn Coutu `12-
Dawn Coutu is a wordsmith with a BA from Chester College of New England
and half of an MFA from New England College. Her articles and poems have
appeared in Today, NH Writer, Ad Hoc Monadnock, So Good, Compass Rose, The
Henniker Review, The Tower Journal, Big Lucks, and Scapegoat Review.