Lawson Inada & Friends

Former Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Fusao Inada will be honored with a poetry event in his name Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, at Southern Oregon University. Inada is an emeritus professor at SOU, where he began teaching in 1966.

Collaboration: Lawson Inada & Friends Poetry Festival 2011 will feature poetry readings by Inada; Rick Barot of Warren Wilson College and Pacific Lutheran University, author of "The Darker Fall," which won the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry; Kirsten Rian, co-author of "Walking Bridges: Using Poetry as a Compass"; and Paul Merchant of Lewis and Clark College, author of "Some Business of Affinity," a collection of poems that was a finalist for the 2007 Oregon Book Awards. The festival also will include musical performances and a panel discussion.

The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. Friday, April 15, at the university's Schneider Museum of Art. Barot will present "Bringing Words Together: Lawson Inada's Contribution to Literature."

The reception will include musical performances by Inada with Todd Barton, resident composer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Terry Longshore, associate professor of music and director of percussion studies at SOU. Admission is free.

A day of presentations is planned Saturday, April 16, in the Meese Room of the Hannon Library on the SOU campus.

At 9 a.m., Miles Inada, professor of digital art at SOU, will present "Digital Directions and Poetry." Barot will present a poetry reading at 10 a.m., and Rian will present "Chords: Poems as Part of the Whole," a discussion of how her roles as poet, teacher, musician, photography curator and painter inform one another, at 11 a.m.

At noon, there will be a luncheon in the Meese Room. Authors will be on hand to sign books and DVDs. SOU's Black Student Union Step Team will present "Freedom," a performance of poetry and motion, at 12:30 p.m.

At 1:30 p.m., Merchant will present "Some Experiments in Biographical Poetry," an introduction to his translations of Greek poet Yannis Ritsos and poems on historical subjects.

The events will culminate with a panel discussion at 2:30 p.m. The topic will be future directions of collaboration in the arts.

Registration is $15 for Saturday's events. Registration will be offered at the Friday reception or from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Saturday at the library. See for information.

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