The Pentameters Hit Palm Beach!

Reports of poetry’s death have been greatly exaggerated. The art form is certainly alive and kicking here, where the Palm Beach Poetry Festival is bringing together a clique of eminent poets — with enough medals and honors among them to decorate an army — for readings, lectures, and workshops in the classic Old School Square complex (51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach). The admission deadline for the workshops has passed, but there are plenty of public events to attend, starting today at 8 p.m. with “Poetry of Witness: A Conversation With Caroline Forché and Ilya Kaminsky.” Forché’s poetry has been praised by none other than Nelson Mandela as a “blow against tyranny,” and her former student, Kaminsky, came out of the Soviet Union. On Thursday, January 21, Floridia poets will hold a reading followed by the awards ceremony for a prestigious high-school poetry contest. The festival’s finale on Saturday, January 23, is truly attention-grabbing: A panel will discuss their “Beloved and Influential Poems” at 2 p.m., and it all wraps up at 9 p.m. with coffee, performance poetry, and dancing to DJ Scott Cunningham, a poet of the turntable. Tickets to each event cost $12 or less. For a complete list of events and times, call 561-868-2063, or visit
Jan. 18-23, 8 p.m., 2010

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