‘Three Fierce, Fun, Female Poets’ on Oct. 9

Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood

Sharon Olds (credit Brett Hall Jones)

Sharon Olds (photo credit Brett Hall Jones)

Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds meets Poetry Slam champs Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood in   “Three Fierce, Fun, Female Poets” taking place at the Frauenthal Center in downtown Muskegon on Friday, Oct. 9.

The event, intended for mature adult audiences only, runs from 7-9 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. for book sales, cash bar, and live music. Tickets are $10 for high school and college students with ID and $15 for all others. Tickets can be purchased at the Frauenthal Theater Box Office or by calling 1 (800) 585-3737.

The event is sponsored by the Muskegon Writers’ Center, Muskegon Community College, and Muskegon Area Arts and Humanities Festival.

“These poets truly admire one another, and they’re planning a show for our eyes only,” said Mary Tyler, chair of the Muskegon Writers’ Center and longtime MCC English faculty member.  “We feel brave and bold bringing them to our West Michigan audience.”

“For people who regularly attend literary events, you’re going to love this. For those folks who have never attended a poetry festival, this is the one to attend. I think of this event as a poetic baptism by fire. These women are engaging and intelligent and . . . fun! We’d like it to be a night you’ll remember, and one that will inspire you, to say the least.”

Sharon Olds is the author of eight volumes of poetry. Her poetry, says Michael Ondaatje, is “pure fire in the hands,” and David Leavitt in the Voice Literary Supplement describes her work as “remarkable for its candor, its eroticism, and its power to move.”

With sensuality, humor, sprung rhythm, and stunning imagery, Olds expresses truths about domestic and political violence, sexuality, family relationships, love, and the body.  Often compared to “confessional” poets, she has been much praised for the courage, emotional power, and extraordinary physicality of her work.

Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times. Named New York State Poet Laureate (1998 – 2000), Olds teaches graduate poetry workshops at New York University as well as the writing workshop she helped found at a 900-bed state hospital for the severely disabled.

She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. Her poetry collection, One Secret Thing, was a finalist for the T. S. Eliot Prize & the Forward Prize.  Her most recent collection, Stag’s Leap (2012), was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Reads of 2012 and won the T.S. Eliot Prize, and also the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In 2014, Sharon Olds was awarded the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry.  In 2015 she was an elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Sharon Olds lives in New York City.

Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood are National Poetry Slam and Women of the World Poetry Slam finalists and have been featured on TV One’s Verses and Flow.

“Speak Like a Girl” is their feminist, interactive poetry show that uses spoken word to educate, entertain, and inspire. The show juggles issues such as street harassment, body image and gender inequality with humor and grace.

“Blown away by their humor, their freshness, and their smarts,” noted a Brooklyn Magazine reviewer. “By the end of their performance, they had every last person laughing and clapping.”

Falley is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, After the Witch Hunt (2012) and Redhead and the Slaughter King (2014), both out on Write Bloody Publishing. Her chapbook, Bad Girls Honey [Poems about Lana Del Rey] was the winner of the 2014 Tired Hearts Competition.

Gatwood has been featured on HBO’s Brave New Voices (2010) and is the author of the chapbook Drunk Sugar. She is a sex and relationships writer for Bustle Magazine and a recent graduate of Pratt Institute’s fiction program.

For more information, contact Mary Tyler at (231) 777-0327 or at mary.tyler@muskegoncc.edu