May 1, 2009

San Diego’s Premier Literary Festival Offers Stellar Lineup

There’s something for everyone at the 16th annual Border Voices Poetry Festival on May 9 in Balboa Park. Among the attractions at the free, all-day event:

Four celebrated poets; Risa the Poetry Clown; music by the Celtic Ensemble, featuring Claudia Poquoc.

And don’t forget the audience: lovers of literature from throughout Southern California, as well as hundreds of San Diego students and their parents.

The annual fair celebrates the thousands of San Diego students who attend Border Voices poetry workshops at local schools each year.

The theme of this year’s fair is “Songs from Enchanted Borders.” Unlike previous years – when Border Voices hosted writers from around the world – this year’s fair focuses on the poets of San Diego.

As project director Jack Webb explained in the Introduction to this year’s Border Voices anthology:

“Think of Disney’s Magic Kingdom, with its many separate lands. Then think of how they’re all joined by one overarching theme: the magic sparkling wand of Tinker Bell, floating high above the Matterhorn.

“The same thing happens as you move around San Diego, with its mountains and beaches, bohemian enclaves and other cultural sub-villages, and this delightful diversity and comforting unity are reflected in our language, and in the language and poems of our children…whose poems are inside this book, along with those of major poets appearing at our annual Poetry Fair.”

The fair will be held in and around the Recital Hall at Balboa Park (2150 West Pan American Road). Events begin at 9:15 a.m and end with a book signing by the featured poets from 4:10 to 4:45 p.m.

Featured poets include Jericho Brown, the USD poet-professor who has been praised for his passionate poetry that “ventriloquizes a cast of characters hurt into music: Janis Joplin, the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, Diana Ross, a field of crickets.” Also featured are the much-honored UCSD poet Rae Armantrout, “consummate in authority and yet so generous to her readers …” Trish Dugger, the gently humorous “poet laureate of Encinitas,” and Suzanne Lummis, whose work has received delighted admiration for its “sass and wry humor.”

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