Power of Poetry
The Power of Poetry Celebration Logo in white

5th Inaugural Poet of the U.S.

Acclaimed Poet and Writer

2-time U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize Winner

The Power of Poetry: Celebrating the Legacy of the International Poetry Forum, an evening of poetry and music

Join us as we bring new visibility to Pittsburgh’s creative arts and their power to elevate the human spirit. Share an unforgettable evening with acclaimed writers, Carlow MFA students and mentors, and the Pittsburgh cultural community as we honor the legacy of the International Poetry Forum and its founder, Samuel Hazo.

Saturday, January 7, 2023
7 p.m.
Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa 15213
Rosemary Heyl Theatre in Antonian Hall

VIP Package

Event seating in VIP reserved section

5:30-6:30 p.m. Meet the featured writers at a pre-event reception in Gailliot Center. Enjoy wine and cheese.

Doors open at 5 p.m.


General Admission

7-9 p.m.

Carlow students can attend for free with a valid ID. All other college students, $5.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.


Limited Edition Art Print

Created by Power of Poetry Visual Artists Fran Ledonio Flaherty and Veronica Corpuz
Edition of 30
Only 20 for sale at the Jan. 7 event


About the Art Print

In honor of the legacy of Sam Hazo’s International Poetry Forum that brought together poetry and the visual and performing arts, Carlow has commissioned a limited edition art print for the Power of Poetry. Deaf artist Fran Ledonio Flaherty and interdisciplinary poet Veronica Corpuz have collaborated to create a limited edition silkscreen. The artwork invokes the power of poetry when it is breathed into life, felt and experienced in community. Inscribed in the print are lines by the honorary poets Richard Blanco, Naomi Shihab Nye and Tracy K. Smith. The dynamic and tactile artwork also incorporates American Sign Language and Braille embracing the original vision of the Poetry Forum that poetry is—and should always be— accessible to all. In the spirit of activism and disability justice, WORD is an homage to the transformative power of art and poetry to heal, connect and uplift humanity.         

Featured Writers

Richard Blanco headshot

Richard Blanco

5th Inaugural Poet of the U.S.

Namoi Shihab Nye headshot

Naomi Shihab Nye

Acclaimed Poet and Writer

Tracy K. Smith headshot

Tracy K. Smith

2-time U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize Winner

Sponsorships are still available for this event. ▸ Learn more

Samuel J. Hazo headshot

Samuel J. Hazo, PhD

Founder, International Poetry Forum of Pittsburgh


Piece of art from the IPF exhibition

“To Hear it With Our Eyes”: Activist Voices in the International Poetry Forum (1966-1974)

Tess Barry Headshot

Tess Barry

Program Director, MFA

Power of Poetry Visual Artists

In honor of the legacy of Sam Hazo’s International Poetry Forum that brought together poetry and the visual and performing arts, Carlow has commissioned a limited edition art print for the Power of Poetry. Deaf artist Fran Ledonio Flaherty and interdisciplinary poet Veronica Corpuz have collaborated to create a limited-edition silkscreen. Get your print at the Jan. 7 event!

Fran Ledonio Flaherty is a Deaf artist, curator, and educator practicing in Pittsburgh, PA, USA and Rochester, NY, USA. As a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, her work is centered in issues surrounding migrant family relations and assimilation, maternal feminism, & disability aesthetics that synthesizes traditional media and physical computing. Flaherty is the founder of Anthropology of Motherhood, an ongoing curation of artwork and design that engages in the complex visual, material, emotional, corporeal and lived experiences of motherhood, care-giving, parenting, nurturing and maternal labor. She is also the Director of Dyer Arts Center for the Advancement of Deaf Culture at RIT/NTID, serves on the Advisory Board of the Office of Public Art in Pittsburgh, and is a proud member of the #notwhite collective.

Veronica Corpuz is an interdisciplinary poet experimenting with inscription, photography, collage/assemblage, performance and video. As a daughter of Filipino immigrants to the United States, she explores themes of identity, assimilation, loss and grief in her work. She is a proud member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing program at Carlow University where she co-curates with Sarah Williams-Devereux MAD BOOKENDS highlighting the work of Black, Indigenous, and women writers of color worldwide. She a proud member of #notwhite collective, a group of 13 women artists whose mission is to use non-individualistic, multi-disciplinary art to make our stories visible as we relate, connect, and belong to the global majority.


Prior to The Power of Poetry event and open to the public, Masterclasses will be held throughout the day on Saturday, January 7, 2022. Instructor and class information are below. All workshops will be offered on the Carlow University campus.

SESSION #1 (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

From Image to Story
Geeta Kothari – Creative Nonfiction

In this class we’ll explore how to use a single photograph to launch an essay. Most of our time will be spent writing in response to prompts and reading out loud. We’ll also look at brief examples of how writers use photographs in their essays and discuss how to find the inner story of an essay. Participants will leave the class with the beginning of an essay and ideas for how to develop it. This class is suitable for both beginners and experienced writers who have read memoirs and personal essays. Writers I’ll refer to include Neema Avashia, Vivian Gornick, and Michael Steinberg, but no advance reading is necessary. Please come prepared with a photograph from your personal collection that’s at least five years old and includes people you know.

Using Dialogue Effectively in Fiction
Karin Lin-Greenberg – Fiction

When used well in fiction, dialogue can do many things, including moving plot forward, characterizing, deepening conflict, and illustrating relationships between characters. In this session, we’ll look at examples of effective use of dialogue in published fiction and will practice using the techniques of the writers we examine in our own writing. We’ll also discuss how to avoid some common pitfalls of dialogue writing—including writing dialogue that is stiff and unnatural, writing exposition in dialogue, and having characters say too much about their emotions—and will discuss how to avoid these problems. Participants may bring a draft of a short passage they’ve written in which they would like to revise the dialogue, or they can generate new passages of dialogue during this session.

Talking Back to (Whose?) Tradition: Blurring Lines and Blending Genres as Reclamation and Transgression: A Master Class in Hybrid Genre Work 
Lee Ann Roripaugh

This session will explore the pleasures and challenges of creating mixed-genre or hybrid-genre work, thinking through some of the ways in which a piece of writing can be held aloft through mutually supportive tensions between form and content. For this class, we’ll focus primarily on the intersections of prose poetry and lyric flash essay. After a brief introduction to mixed genre work and its artistic possibilities, we’ll discuss additional examples, and then go on to do some generative hybrid-genre writing exercises. 

SESSION #2 (3 – 5 p.m.)


A pizza party will follow the afternoon workshops at 5 p.m. All afternoon workshops are welcome to attend.

Six Conditions for Joy
Joy Katz – All Genres Welcome – Poetry/Creative Nonfiction/Fiction

Joy, the most elusive, brief, available, startling, reliable, uncapturable state, can’t be created. But conditions for joy can be created. What is a condition for joy? If joy is in a paragraph, poem, story, image, line, chapter, does it reduce pain and terror? Is that a good thing? Is joy sentimental? Should you be careful with it? Is that even possible? Come to this laboratory and experiment with six conditions for joy, that least investigated, most human circumstance.

Theme and Voice
Instructor: Brian LeydenCreative Non-Fiction

Irish author Brian Leyden has spent many years teaching Creative Non-Fiction, personal essay writing, and the art and craft of memoir.  This masterclass will consider the rewards and demands of Creative Non-Fiction. With a particular focus on theme and narrative structure, creative decision making, and narrative voice. Guided by examples from the literature to reveal, establish and explore the one golden rule of this most intimate and rewarding of literary genres. 

Creative Writing Workshop for Teenagers
Instructor: Sarah Shotland

Please join us for a creative writing workshop open to all high school writers! In this 2-hour workshop, we’ll read the work of celebrated writers Naomi Shihab Nye, Tracey K. Smith, and Richard Blanco & write our own pieces inspired by their work. At the end of the workshop, you’ll also have a chance to perform your work for the group. All genres, all voices, all writers welcome! Participants are also welcome to attend the Power of Poetry: Celebrating the legacy of the International Poetry Forum, with live performances by the poets whose work we explore in the workshop! 

MFA in Creative Writing

You can take your writing skills to the next level and explore your creativity within a supportive literary community. At Carlow, you can focus your MFA in Creative Writing on fiction, non-fiction or poetry.

MFA Mentors
Our MFA American and Irish Mentors

Award-winning American and Irish writers mentor students in Carlow’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program with residencies in Pittsburgh and Dublin. Our MFA mentors are dedicated teachers and writers whose work has been recognized in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Within an inclusive, supportive community, our mentors are committed to helping each student achieve their full writing potential.

MFA Mentors
Creative Writing Major

You can build on your creative skills and refine your writing technique with Carlow’s Creative Writing major.

General Blog
Madwomen in the Attic

Madwomen in the Attic offer opportunities for publishing, mentoring, awards and readings, including: MadBooks (chapbook publishing series), Madwomen Mentorship (free, peer mentorship program), Madwomen Reading Series featuring nationally acclaimed poets & writers and MadFridays Reading Series featuring Madwomen students & teachers.

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