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uisgaenglish@uis.edu

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UIS to host annual Verbal Arts Festival

March 15, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - The University of Illinois at Springfield’s 2004 Verbal Arts Festival, scheduled for March 31-April 3, will feature events ranging from readings of original works to a lecture, a writers’ workshop, and an evening devoted to Oscar Wilde. Except as noted, events in this annual celebration of the arts are free; all are open to the public and will be held on the UIS campus.

Activities begin with The Poetry of John Knoepfle from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31, in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library. A regionally acclaimed poet, Knoepfle is an emeritus professor of literature at UIS and the 1995 winner of the Illinois Literary Heritage Award of the Illinois Center for the Book. His works include Poems of the Sangamon and Rivers into Islands. A book-signing will follow the presentation.

Thursday, April 1, will celebrate the release of the 2004 Alchemist Review, the campus’ literary magazine featuring fiction, poetry, and non-fiction by UIS students and alumni. From 7 to 9 p.m., authors represented in the latest edition will read selections from their works at a reception in the Visual Arts Gallery, located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building.

Friday, April 2, will feature An Evening with Marge Piercy, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, located in the lower level of the Public Affairs Center. Piercy is a Massachusetts-based author whose most recent novel, The Third Child, has been hailed as “a biting, contemporary take on Romeo and Juliet and an acidic commentary on Washington political culture.” Her newest poetry collection is Colors Passing through Us. A reception with the author will follow.

On Saturday, April 3, Piercy will conduct a workshop on writing fiction from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Brookens 475.  Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Cost for the workshop is $25; scholarships are available.

Later that afternoon, the film version of Oscar Wilde’s The Ideal Husband will be shown at 4:30 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium.

The focus on Wilde continues that evening with two more presentations in Brookens Auditorium. Corrine Frisch will speak on “Exploring Oscar Wilde” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and a production of his play The Importance of Being Earnest, from 8 to 9:30 p.m., will conclude the festival.

Co-sponsors of this year’s festival are the UIS English program, Speakers’ Bureau, and Friends of Brookens Library.

For more information, including registration for the fiction writing workshop on April 3, contact Maureen Skube, English program graduate assistant, at (217) 206-7459 or by e-mail at uisgaenglish@uis.edu.
    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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