British Poet Laureate to read and visit in Williamsville school event - The Buffalo News
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British Poet Laureate to read and visit in Williamsville school event

A well-known poet from England is about to come to town to read her work to students from a suburban school district.

Carol Ann Duffy will also appear at an event that is open to the public.

Duffy, the poet laureate of Great Britain, is scheduled to appear at events in the Williamsville school district – including a two-hour celebration of poetry, music, dance and art that will take place at Williamsville East High School on April 27.

The event at the high school, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., will be free and open to the public.

“She’s such a wide-ranging poet,” said John Kryder, an English teacher in the district who is an organizer of the event.

“She has children’s poems, she has poems that are adult. She’s just wide-ranging.”

Duffy’s appearance comes at the end of a year’s worth of activities and programs in the district in which students of all ages have studied her poems – and responded to them with creativity of their own, in art, through music, and in other ways, Kryder said.

“What we’re trying to show them is the great, interdisciplinary nature of the arts, and of creativity,” Kryder said.

“Our program attempts to unite students together, in the creative endeavor,” he said.

This year’s celebration is the 15th annual poetry-themed event for students in the Williamsville schools, said Kryder.

He said they chose to ask Duffy to appear to give this year’s event a wide appeal.

“We approached her, largely because this is our 15th year, and we are looking at poets that are particularly notable for their work on a national or global level,” said Kryder, who teaches at Williamsville East.

In previous years, the district has brought to town poets including Billy Collins in 2001, Nikki Giovanni in 2008, and Ted Kooser in 2011, Kryder said. He co-organizes the annual event with another faculty member, Stephen Shewan.

This is not the first time a sitting poet laureate has appeared as part of the annual celebration, Kryder said.

“We have had Ted Kooser, we have had Robert Pinsky,” said Kryder. “Pinsky was the sitting poet laureate when we had him. Billy Collins became poet laureate a month after we had him.”

As part of her visit, Duffy will also meet with and read to second-graders in the district on April 28, Kryder said. That event is not open to the public.

The high school is located at 151 Paradise Road in Amherst. No advance registration is necessary to attend the event.


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