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Performance Central presents
2013 Princeton Poetry Festival

Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts announces the poets who will be featured in the 2013 Princeton Poetry Festival, a two-day biennial event presented through the Center’s Performance Central Series. Poets from around the world will read from their work and hold panel discussions. The Festival will take place March 15 and 16 in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall on the Princeton campus. Organized by poet and Princeton professor Paul Muldoon, the Festival will open with the New Jersey State Finals of Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry performance competition for high school students.

Princeton University has a longstanding tradition of nurturing poets.  From Revolutionary War poet Philip Morin Freneau, class of 1771, to major post-war poets William Ralph Meredith ’40, Galway Kinnell ’48, and W. S. Merwin ’48, to acclaimed contemporary poet Emily Moore ’99, hundreds of renowned graduates have studied poetry and creative writing at Princeton.  Today, poetry continues to thrive at Princeton under the direction of such renowned poets and professors as Michael Dickman, Paul Muldoon, James Richardson, Laurie Sheck, Tracy K. Smith, Susan Wheeler, and C.K. Williams.

This year’s eleven poets represent six countries across four continents. Six poets from the United States include Pulitzer Prize-winners Stephen Dunn and Jorie Graham, returning Princeton graduates Lizzie Hutton ’95 and National Book Award-finalist Monica Youn ’93, as well as Amit Majmudar and Gary Whitehead, who was recently recognized by Princeton University for excellence in teaching. Whitehead’s new collection of poems, A Glossary of Chickens, will be published in March by Princeton University Press.

International poets include Gabeba Baderoon from South Africa, dissident Chinese poet Bei Dao, Ghanaian pop musician Sheriff Ghale, Turkish poet Bejan Matur, and Chinese poet and translator Xi Chuan.

“We are pleased to bring some of the best poets in the world to Princeton,” notes Muldoon, the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities, “and to provide this venue for sharing their diverse work with our students and the wider community including middle and high school students.”

The Festival will open on the morning of March 15 with the New Jersey State Finals of Poetry Out Loud, when eight high school students will compete for the state title and the opportunity to represent New Jersey at the national finals in Washington, DC.  The state finals are the culmination of a statewide poetry performance program that started in the fall and included more than 20,000 New Jersey students.  Poetry Out Loud is a national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.  In New Jersey, this program is supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, and administered in partnership with Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, and the Lewis Center for the Arts, among others.

A gala opening reading will follow in the afternoon when the New Jersey winner and runner-up will perform, followed by a reading by all eleven Festival poets. A panel discussion and lecture will complete the afternoon with a reading by four of the poets in the evening. On Saturday the Festival will continue with an afternoon reading and panel discussion and conclude with an evening reading.

While featured poets come from around the world and write in numerous languages, the readings, discussions and panels will be in English.

Richardson Auditorium is an accessible venue, however patrons are encouraged to contact the Lewis Center or University Ticketing with any questions or specific needs. Assistive listening devices will be available upon request and large print programs will be provided. Patrons in need of other access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609.258.5262 or for assistance at least three weeks prior to the Festival.

Tickets for the Princeton Poetry Festival are $15 for each day, $10 per day for students, and $25 for a two-day Festival Pass and are available through Princeton University Ticketing by calling 609.258.9220, on-line at , or at the Frist Campus Center Ticket Office.  The New Jersey State Finals of Poetry Out Loud is free, however advance tickets are required and can be reserved through University Ticketing.

To learn more about the Festival, including a detailed schedule of events and information on the poets, and the more than 100 other events presented each year by the Lewis Center for the Arts visit:

The New Jersey State Finals of the national Poetry Out Loud program will open the Festival.

Poetry Out Loud logo


Parking / Shuttle Information:

Parking for Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16

Metered parking is available in University Lot 20 (visitor parking) and on the streets in the Princeton Borough. Parking garages are available for public parking on Hulfish Street and Chamber Street surrounding Palmer Square.

TigerTransit shuttle will frequently pick up and drop-off visitors between Lot 20 and Richardson Auditorium.

Link to photo:
Photo caption:  Bei Dao and Jorie Graham, two of the 12 poets who will be featured in readings and discussions at the 2013 Princeton Poetry Festival on March 15 and 16
Photo credit:  Photos courtesy of Blue Flower Arts

Event Information


Friday, March 15, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Richardson Auditorium
Princeton, New Jersey


Ticket Information:


$15 per day
$25 for both days
$10 per day for students

For advance tickets please buy online at University Ticketing or call 609.258.9220



 Additional event information to be added shortly

Related Links


2009 Princeton Poetry Festival

2011 Princeton Poetry Festival



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