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15th Annual PALM BEACH POETRY FESTIVAL Returns to Delray Beach, January 21-26
Posted on Friday, August 10th, 12:58pm

Returns to South Florida, January 21-26, 2019

Sharon Olds is Special Guest Poet for 15th Annual Poetry Festival at Old School Square in Delray Beach, Featuring Tyehimba Jess as Poet At Large 

Festival Workshops will be Led by Eight Award-Winning Poets: Ellen Bass, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Stuart Dischell, Aracelis Girmay, Campbell McGrath, Mathew Olzmann, Gregory Pardlo and Eleanor Wilner


Writers of Poetry May Now Apply for 6-Days of Extraordinary Workshops, Craft Talks, Readings, Panel Discussions & More

(Delray Beach, FL – August 1, 2018) Susan R. Williamson, Director of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival (PBPF), today announced that the 15th annual festival is returning to Old School Square for six days, January 21-26, 2019.

Special Guest Poet 2019

Special Guest Poet will be Sharon Olds, the author of 11 books of poetry and winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. A reviewer in The New York Times hailed her poetry for its vision: “Her work has a robust sensuality, a delight in the physical that is almost Whitmanesque. She has made the minutiae of a woman’s everyday life as valid a subject for poetry as the grand abstract themes that have preoccupied other poets.”

“She is a champion and in this era of #metoo,” says Miles Coon, Board Chairman of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. “I can think of no other literary figure who has given such strength to women's voices in prize-winning volumes of poetry for decades.”

Poet At Large 2019

Another Pulitzer Prize winner, Tyehimba Jess, will be the Festival’s first Poet At Large.  His first book, Leadbelly, was named one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005” by The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review, and his second book (Olio) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2017. Jess received a Guggenheim fellowship this year and is a Professor of English at College of Staten Island. During the upcoming Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Jess will appear at four local high schools and at the Crest Theatre in Delray Beach on Friday evening, January 25.

Faculty Poets 2019

Eight distinguished poets will lead poetry-writing workshops at the Festival:

Ellen Bass, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Stuart Dischell, Aracelis Girmay, Campbell McGrath, Mathew Olzmann, Gregory Pardlo and Eleanor Wilner, with individual conferences offered by nationally acclaimed poets: Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn and Nickole Brown.

“The Palm Beach Poetry Festival is once again offering a nationally recognized, world-class learning opportunity with more than a dozen of America’s most engaging and award-winning poets in Delray Beach,” says Ms. Williamson. “In addition to our workshops, the Festival brings the voices of America’s most beloved living poets to the Crest Theatre stage. We work hard to present a diverse group of poetic voices, each expressing in their poems what we sometimes find inexpressible.”

How to Apply for PBPF Workshops

Each Palm Beach Poetry Festival workshop is limited to 12 qualified participants and three auditors, who must apply for admission and submit three poems that will be reviewed by an independent reader with a graduate degree and editorial experience. The admission process ensures that all participants will make meaningful contributions to discussions.  In addition, the workshops will help improve editing skills and/or stimulate the writing of new poems.

Application forms are available online at www.palmbeachpoetryfestival.org, where detailed workshop descriptions and faculty biographies can be found.  The deadline for this quick and convenient application process is November 12, 2018.

Tuition for workshops is $895 and includes five three-hour workshop sessions; admission to all festival events, including a ticket to attend the Festival gala and to read at open mics at the Poetry Festival bookstore.  Limited scholarship assistance may be available.

Tuition for Auditors is $495 and includes observation of a workshop and admittance to all Festival events except the gala. Auditing is offered for beginning poets who may be shy about sharing their poems, or non-poets, and is a great opportunity to learn by observing and listening.

The cost for an optional One-on-One Conference is $99 and will be scheduled after acceptance.

Applications require a $25 non-refundable application fee plus a $225 tuition deposit. Tuition balances are due upon acceptance to a workshop.

About the Palm Beach Poetry Festival 2019:

The 15th annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival will be held next January 21-26 at Old School Square in Delray Beach. The Festival features top poets at numerous ticketed public events, including readings, talks, interviews, panel discussions and more. Eight workshops will be offered for which applications are required.

The Palm Beach Poetry Festival is presented in partnership with Old School Square and is generously sponsored by Art Works of the National Endowment for the Arts, Morgan Stanley, The Windler-Keel Group of Atlanta, GA, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, The Tourist Development Council of Palm Beach County; the Board of Commissioners of Palm Beach County, The Palm Beach Post, a grant from Visit Florida, WLRN-FM, and Murder on the Beach, Delray Beach’s independent bookseller.

In 2010, the Palm Beach Poetry Festival received an Arts Challenge Grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and in 2011, it was presented with The Muse Award for Outstanding Cultural Organization (with a budget under $500,000) by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

For more information about the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, please visit www.palmbeachpoetryfestival.org.


Available for Interview:

Susan Williamson


Media Contact:

Gary Schweikhart

PR-BS, Inc.


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