FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       Date: April 15, 2003

         Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716


UIS to host annual Verbal Arts Festival

SPRINGFIELD The University of Illinois at Springfield’s 2003 Verbal Arts Festival, scheduled for April 21-26, will feature events ranging from readings of original works to a lecture, performances, a workshop on how to get published, a film festival, and an open mic night. All events in this annual celebration of the arts are free and open to the public and will be held on the UIS campus.

Activities begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 21, in the Studio Theatre with a reception debuting the 2003 Alchemist Review, the campus’ literary magazine featuring fiction, poetry, and non-fiction by UIS students and alumni. Authors represented in the latest edition will read selections from their works and the Writers’ Repertory will announce the winner of its first Short Fiction Contest. The Studio Theatre is located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center.

Events on Tuesday, April 22, include an open mic session hosted by Nancy Perkins, assistant professor of English and author of the NYX poetry trilogy. The session starts at 6 p.m. in the Studio Theatre. Performers can sign up beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Immediately following the open mic session, at 7 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, members of Writers’ Repertory will perform repertory theater versions of their original plays and short fiction.

Two lectures are scheduled for Wednesday, April 23. At noon in conference room F, Martha Miller will share tips on  “How to Start Getting Published.” Miller is the author of Skin to

Skin, Nine Nights on the Windy Tree, and Dispatch to Death, as well as numerous short stories and plays. Her brown bag presentation will focus on issues important to writers who want to publish


their work, such as creating a writer’s résumé, where to begin submitting manuscripts, obtaining grants, self-promotion, writers’ conferences, and the differences between publishing fiction and non-fiction. Conference room F is located on the lower level of the PAC.

That evening, at 7 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, the second program in the Everson Lecture Series will present Judith Everson speaking on “Generations Lost and Found: Hemingway and Jones’s French Connection.” Inaugurated in November 2002, this series honors the contributions of Everson, UIS professor emerita of English, who was a member of the charter faculty and who served the campus in many capacities until her retirement in the spring of 2001. A booklet of essays written by students and colleagues will be presented at a reception following the lecture.

On Thursday and Friday, April 24 and 25, a four-part European Film Festival will be presented in Brookens Auditorium. Thursday’s films are (4 p.m.) Les Quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows) and (7 p.m.) Domicile conjugal (Bed and Board). Both films were written and directed by François Truffaut; both are in French with English subtitles.

Friday’s films are (4 p.m.) Sommarnattens leende (Smiles of a Summer Night), written and directed by Ingmar Bergman (Swedish with English subtitles), and (7 p.m.) Burnt by the Sun, directed by Nikita Mikhalkov with screenplay by Mikhalkov and Rustam Ibragimbekov (Russian with English subtitles).

The Verbal Arts Festival concludes with a performance of James Joyce’s Dubliners: Four Movements, featuring associate professor of English Ethan Lewis and the Verbal Arts Players, at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in the Studio Theatre.

The UIS English program, Speakers’ Bureau, Writers’ Repertory, and the Liberal Studies and Individual Options programs are the sponsors of this year’s festival. For more information, go to or contact the English program at (217) 206-6779.