Running on the fuel of last year's successful event, The Favorite Poem Project, this spring's arrival brings 2013's Poetry Life Weekend. Taking place on May 3 and 4, the weekend will provide memorable opportunities for students, educators and any others who love poetry to listen to and celebrate poetry from individuals in the Sarasota community and from notable guest poets. BookStore1 and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation have made it possible to host this life-affirming event with Florida Studio Theatre.
The weekend will be a culmination of several months' work in cultivating the love of poetry in Sarasota. Leading the events will be two honored guests: Naomi Shihab Nye and W.S. Merwin. Nye is a prize-winning poet dedicated to exploring her Palestinian-American heritage, and Merwin, a two-time Pulitzer winner and former U.S. poet laureate, is known for his prolific work and penetrating themes.
Nye and Merwin will explore their work and methods with teachers at a dinner honoring community educators, and students have the chance to submit their own work to present to the honorable poets for the Student Poetry Readings. All members of the community are encouraged to submit their favorite poem - written by an established poet - for the opportunity to participate as part of the Favorite Poem Reading. In addition, teachers are invited to perform in a special Teacher Poetry Slam. Details and applications can be found at Bookstore1 or on the web at www.bookstore1sarasota.com.
The weekend will conclude with a dinner and celebration of poetry with Nye and Merwin to raise money for local educators. These funds will aid educators in their efforts to grow and foster poetry in Sarasota classrooms. More details will come in the weeks ahead; for more information please call the FST Box Office or visit floridastudiotheatre.org or BookStore1Sarasota.com. Come celebrate poetry in our community and fertilize its roots in the generations to come.
Known as Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman's Club building - now renamed the Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American theatre, presenting Contemporary Theatre in its four theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the Gompertz Theatre and the John C. Court Cabaret.
Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. Under Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director and CEO, FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.