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Poetry Reading Commemorates Katrina

August 25, 2010 12:00 PM
Fran Simon

To mark the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall, eight American poets with ties to Louisiana, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa, will read their own poetry on Sunday (Aug. 29) from 3:30–5 p.m. in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall of the Lavin-Bernick Center on the Tulane uptown campus.


Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa will be at a reading on the Katrina fifth anniversary. (Photo by Tom Wallace)

A jazz reception to celebrate the rebirth of New Orleans will follow the reading. The event is free and open to the public.

Also among the readers are Walt Whitman Award–winner Nicole Cooley; Martha Serpas; former Louisiana poet laureate Brenda Marie Osbey; and local authors Brad Richard, Kay Murphy, Alison Pelegrin and Peter Cooley, professor of English.

“This event is important because poetry always 'says it better' than any other form of communication,” says Peter Cooley.

“We are all saturated with media coverage of Katrina, but the poems to be read by these eight poets deal with their experience of the storm and how they dealt with that experience. The reading will show — in memorable language — how we come through disaster.”

The event is the first in the academic year sponsored by the Creative Writing Fund of the Department of English, and it is co-sponsored by the Poetry Society of America.

Since its establishment in 2006, the Creative Writing Fund has enhanced literary programming both at Tulane and in New Orleans, featuring readings by Louise Glück, Rita Dove, Billy Collins and Toni Morrison. This year's calendar includes Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje and James Salter.