Archive for the ‘Literary’ Category

2019 Literary Gala scheduled October 26

October 16, 2019

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Howard Schwartz, the noted poet, essayist, novelist, editor, and expert on Jewish folklore and mythology, will receive the 2019 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award at a gala reception at 7 pm on October 26, on the fifth floor of University City’s historic city hall building.

The public is invited to attend the awards ceremony and may purchase tickets ($20/person; $35/couple), which cover light refreshments and live music, at the door. To reserve your tickets, use the ‘Get tickets’ button on our Facebook page.

The award, which was created in 2014 and is funded by the Municipal Commission on Arts & Letters of University City, is given “to honor the work of a living local author whose literary achievement has won national and international acclaim and, in so doing, has contributed to the distinction of the St. Louis area, upholding its tradition as a center of literary excellence.”

Questions may be sent to ucityartsandletters@gmail.com.

It’s raining poetry in University City!

April 29, 2019

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April is National Poetry Month, and University City is celebrating in style! The city’s Arts & Letters Commission is sponsoring a combined literary and public art project, called Raining Poetry, and is getting the whole community involved.

Designed both to extol poetry and to recognize our area’s rich literary heritage, the activity involves spray painting lines of poetry from the works of four poets with Missouri ties—Langston Hughes, Howard Nemerov, Mona Van Duyn, and Maya Angelou—for display at sites around University City.

Studio arts students at U. City High School, under the direction of art teacher Marnie Claunch and visual artist Adelia Parker-Castro, are using stencils and a special paint—visible only when it rains—to produce the poetry text and create a bit of poetic magic at the high school’s entrance.  The students were inspired to take part in the project after a visit from Jane Ellen Ibur, the newly installed Poet Laureate of St. Louis, who helped the students to write their own poetry.

Poetry will also be displayed at the Market in the Loop (6655 Delmar); Centennial Commons, University City’s recreational center (7210 Olive); and at the University City Public Library (6701 Delmar), where those curious to know more about the four chosen poets can find collections of their work.

Poet Michael Castro chosen for 2017 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award

October 24, 2017

Michael Castro has been chosen as the recipient of the 2017 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award. The award, which was created in 2014, funded by the Municipal Commission of Arts & Letters of University City, and conferred by the Saint Louis Literary Consortium is given “to honor the work of a living local author whose literary achievement has won national and international acclaim and, in so doing, has contributed to the distinction of the St. Louis area, upholding its tradition as a center of literary excellence.”

Castro, called “a legend in St. Louis poetry” by Charles Guenther in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is a widely published poet and translator. His poetry has appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies, as well as in eleven books and chapbooks. “We Need to Talk: Selected Poems 1970-2016” is due out in November 2017 from Singing Bone Press. Castro is a founder of the literary organization and magazine River Styx, which has been in continuous operation since 1975. He has spread the word of poetry off the page for decades, organizing readings and hosting three literary radio programs. He has read his poems on four continents, including many collaborative performances with musicians. His aural/oral work is recorded on seven albums. With his fellow poet, Gabor G. Gyukics, he has translated modern Hungarian poetry, resulting in five books.

Castro is the recipient of the Guardian Angel of St. Louis Poetry Award from River Styx and the Warrior Poet Award from Word in Motion, both for lifetime achievement. In 2015 he was named St. Louis’s first Poet Laureate. As Poet Laureate Castro promoted the art of poetry by developing the Unity Community, a coalition of literary artists from all over the region that resulted in the Unity Community and Poet Tree reading series, and the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival that just completed its third year.

Castro will receive the award on Friday evening, October 27, 2017, at the Tradition of Literary Excellence Award ceremony. The event will take place on the fifth floor of University City’s historic city hall (6801 Delmar Blvd.) at 7:00 p.m. The ceremony will also recognize the new St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate and two local literary organizations.

The public is invited to attend the award ceremony and may purchase tickets ($25/person), which cover beverage, reception, and live music, at Brown Paper Tickets, literarystltickets.brownpapertickets.com. And to support the Saint Louis Literary Consortium, an alliance of local literary groups, with a financial donation, please visit
www.literarystl.com.

Award-winning local children’s author Patricia McKissack passes away

April 11, 2017

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The Municipal Commission on Arts and Letters of University City is sad to hear that famed local author Patricia McKissack passed away this last weekend. Among the author’s many honors was the 2016 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award, presented to her just last October at the Gala Opening Event of the Lit in the Lou festival in our city hall. More information on her life and works can be found in the obituary at the link below.

Literary festival returns October 21

October 17, 2016

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Children’s author Patricia McKissack has been chosen as the recipient of the 2016 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award which will be presented at the Gala Opening Event of the Lit in the Lou festival, 7 p.m. October 21 at University City Hall’s fifth floor.

The award, which was created in 2014 and is funded by the Municipal Commission of Arts & Letters of University City, is given “to honor the work of a living local author whose literary achievement has won national and international acclaim and, in so doing, has contributed to the distinction of the St. Louis area, upholding its tradition as a center of literary excellence.”  Previous recipients of the award were poet Jane O. Wayne in 2015 and author William Gass in 2014.

McKissack, a former teacher and editor of children’s books, began her full-time professional writing career in the early eighties in partnership with her late husband Frederick, with whom she wrote more than 100 children’s books. Among her most well-known works are: Goin’ Someplace Special, a Coretta Scott King Award winner; The Honest-to-Goodness Truth; Let My People Go, recipient of the NAACP Image Award; The Dark-Thirty, a Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award winner; and Mirandy and Brother Wind, recipient of the Caldecott Medal and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

Tickets to the gala are $25 on line with brownpapertickets.com or at the door. Food and drink and included. Parking is on the west rear of the building along with handicap parking and entrance. Additional parking is at the University City Library just east of city hall.

On Saturday, October 22, activities will include a children’s book festival during the day, set at Jackson Park Elementary School in U. City, and an evening literary pub crawl for adults. The Kids’ Book Fest, with activities for both elementary school age children and teens, is free and open to the public. It will feature visiting authors Marc Brown (creator and illustrator of the PBS character, Arthur the Aardvark) and Jacqueline Woodson (award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming), as well as a host of beloved children’s authors who live and work in St. Louis. The Literary Pub Crawl—a ticketed event—boasts venues in and around the U. City Loop where adults can snack and sip while savoring the work of our region’s favorite authors.

For more details about Lit in the Lou, or to support Lit in the Lou with a financial donation, visit http://www.literarystl.com.