Spoken Word Literature creates celebrations in the human heart, so why not take the process public? This bit of artistic philosophy can be appreciated at two important literary events this week in Indianapolis. Scott Russell Sanders will be part of the Writers’ Center of Indiana Festival Saturday.On Saturday, Oct. 23, the Writers’ Center of Indiana Festival features the expertise of over a dozen of the best writers around, and gathers the energy of another many dozens in the audience. Scott Russell Sanders will deliver the keynote “A Private History of Awe,” setting the tone for the all-day exploration of how writing engages both writers’ and readers’ inner lives. Programs on specific genres — poetry, writing for children, the prose poem and fiction (regular, historical and mystery) — mix with panels regarding “Writing with Spirit” and “Building a Literary Community.” Food, wine and jazz are also on the menu.
The festival takes place at the Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E. 67th St., beginning at 9 a.m. Registration for the public is $55, WCI members $45 and students $25. Call 255-0710 for more information or to register.
On Tuesday, Oct. 26, former poet laureate of the United States Robert Pinsky appears in the Butler Visiting Writers Series. Upon his appointment in 1997, Pinsky closed the gap between poetry and public with the celebratory Favorite Poem Project that has produced print, broadcast and Internet collections, including the new An Invitation to Poetry.
Pinsky’s own work, Pulitzer nominated and many awards-winning, is collected most recently in Jersey Rain (2000). Known for his imaginative improvisation, Pinsky brings together community, self and history in surprising ways. In “To Television” he writes: “In a blue glow my father and little sister sat / Snuggled in one chair watching you / Their wife and mother was sick in the head / I scorned you and them as I scorned so much // Now I like you best in a hotel room, / Maybe minutes / Before I have to face an audience: behind / The doors of the armoire, box / Within a box …”
Robert Pinsky will be at the Atherton Union Reilly Room at 7:30 p.m. Call 940-9861 for further information.