Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If I only had the money...

For Immediate Release:
September 21, 2008
press contact: Katy Henriksen, kathenriksen AT gmail.com

Poets and Scholars Nationwide Travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Frank Stanford with Three-Day Festival

Fayetteville, AR -- The Frank Stanford Literary Festival, Oct. 17 through 19, will honor Arkansas poet Frank Stanford's life and work through a small press reading, three panels, a screening of the rarely seen, award-winning experimental bio-pic It Wasn't a Dream, It Was a Flood, and a marathon reading of Stanford's epic poem The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You.

When Frank Stanford took his own life at age 29 in Fayetteville, he left behind a daunting collection of over 10,000 pages of published and unpublished papers. His poems appeared prolifically in publications including the highly visible magazines of the day such as The Nation and American Poetry Review, as well as smaller, ground-breaking literary journals such as Field, Ironwood, and kayak. In 1977, with C.D. Wright, he founded his own small press, Lost Roads, which aimed to "reclaim the landscape of American poetry." Lost Roads, in conjunction with Irving Broughton's Mill Mountain Press, released Stanford's epic poem The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You. Many of Stanford's titles are long out-of-print and first editions now sell for several hundred dollars. Countless poems have been written for him and Lucinda Williams paid tribute to him on her album Sweet Old World. This year Lost Roads Pubishers reprinted The Singing Knives and You. Despite an intense and impassioned following, Stanford's work has largely remained untouched by academia. Today Stanford's legacy is seeing a resurgence driven by an emerging generation of lyrical poets who esteem Stanford among John Berryman, John Ashbery, George Oppen, Lorine Niedecker, and Alice Notley as the most gifted and daring poets of the second half of the 20th Century.

A limited edition letter pressed broadside of Stanford's poem "Search Party" will be released at the festival, the result of a collaborative project between Lost Roads Publishers, Cannibal Books (Fayetteville, AR) and Effing Press (Austin, TX).

Hosts of the festival are The Burning Chair Readings, Fascicle, The Fayetteville Public Library, Lost Roads Publishers, and Typo.

Event Details:
Friday 7 to 11pm
The Garden Room of The Ozark Smokehouse (215 W. Dickson St.)
$5 suggested donation

The festival kicks off with a small press reading by 18 readers who represent the small press tradition and Stanford's continuing influence. Poets include Stanford's friend and Lost Roads poet Ralph Adamo, Coffeehouse Books author Anne Boyer, Flood Editions authors Graham Foust and Philip Jenks, and Walt Whitman Award Winner/Kuhl House poet Tony Tost.

Saturday 11:30am to 5pm
The Fayetteville Public Library (401 W. Mountain St.)
Free and open to the public

Daytime festivities include three panels (two critical, and one consisting of friends of Stanford discussing his life), a screening of It Wasn't a Dream, It Was a Flood introduced by director and Mill Mountain Press publisher Irving Broughton, and a reading of selected poems from Stanford's eight full-length poetry collections.

Saturday 7pm* to ?am Sunday morning
Metro District Meeting Room (509 W. Spring St.)
$5-$10 suggested donation
*doors, reading begins promptly at 8pm

The festival closes with a marathon reading of The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You, a 380-page poem that Stanford began in his adolescence. The entirety of this seminal work will be read without interruption.

official website – typomag.com/frankstanfordfestival
official blog – frankstanfordfest.blogspot.com
Lost Roads Publishers – www.webdelsol.com/Lost_Roads
Fascicle – fascicle.com
Fayetteville Public Library – www.faylib.org
Typo – typomag.com
Alsop Review – www.alsopreview.com/thecollections/stanford/stanford.html
Rain Taxi – www.raintaxi.com/online/1998fall/stanford.shtml

For more information contact Katy Henriksen, kathenriksen AT gmail.com.

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