Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Help Contemporary Literature at USF

A message from FLAC Member the University of South Florida:

Dear Friends,

Since 2006, the University of South Florida has been celebrating National Poetry Month by sponsoring poetry readings, workshops, craft talks, seminars, Q&A sessions, lectures and panel discussions that have featured some of the finest poets in the world including Louise Gl├╝ck, Robert Pinsky, Billy Collins, Galway Kinnell, Natasha Trethewey, Carol Frost, Michael Waters and Dana Levin. And we in USF’s new MFA program are already hard at work making sure that the celebrations for National Poetry Month 2012 (April 1-30, 2012) will be the biggest and best ever. NPM@USF 2012 will feature readings and workshops by Erica Dawson, Helen Wallace, James Kimbrell, Jennifer Clarvoe and Sasenarine Persaud as well as a Spoken Word Showcase, a Best-of-the-Bay Showcase, a poetry movie night and a one-of-a-kind event (“The Future is Sustainable: Art & Food”) to be held in USF’s new Poetry Garden.

But we need your help.

It costs money to make great contemporary literature and the artists who created it available not only to USF students, but also to those living in and around the Tampa Bay area. Sadly, due to the devastating budget cuts the University of South Florida has sustained in recent years, we don’t have any. The members of the all-star lineup we have scheduled for National Poetry Month 2012 have all agreed to visit USF and provide their services free of charge (not one honorarium will be paid); even so, we still have their expenses to cover (gas for those who will be driving, airfare for those flying in, hotels, food, etc.), the venues to rent, the advertising and promotional materials to produce. Organizations like the Florida Book Awards, the University of South Florida Humanities Institute and the University of South Florida English Department have all pledged to help as much as they can, but we still need people like you—people who value the literary arts—to get involved.

In short: we need you to donate money. And now, making a donation to support USF’s National Poetry Month celebrations is easier than ever. All you have to do is:

1. Go to:

2. Select “420019 Humanities Institute Fund” and click “continue”3.

Fill out the brief form and next to “This gift is made in memory/honor of,” type: This Gift is For National Poetry MonthAnd that’s it; follow the prompts and you’re done. If you would like to verify that your gift has been received and is correctly earmarked, you can drop Elizabeth Kicak a line at

And if you don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around, don’t worry about it. No one does, not these days. If you want to give thousands of dollars, please do; but your donation can be as little as $1.00. In these economic times, there is no such thing as a small donation. Every little bit helps; in fact, I just made a $25.00 donation!

Finally, I ask that you forward this email to as many people as you can and please ask them to forward it to their friends, family members and colleagues. If you have a website, please post this email to your website. If you have a blog, please post this email to your blog. If you have a Facebook account, please post this email to your Facebook account.

Please, we need your help. Help us make NPM@USF 2012 a reality. You can make a difference.


Dr. Jay Hopler
Associate Professor
Department of English
University of South Florida

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