The legacy of the International Poetry Forum came alive Saturday night at Carlow University as world-renowned poets took the stage surrounded by the arts community.
The night began with a reel of archival photography of the bygone days of the infamous International Poetry Forum. Artists like Archibald MacLeish, W.H. Auden, Anne Sexton, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Linda Pastan, and Joyce Carol Oates, to name a few, were all famously featured during the forum’s heyday. But the event was rekindled with a new set of featured artists Richard Blanco, Tracey K. Smith, and Naomi Shihab Nye, a veteran IPF attendee.
Carlow University’s president, Dr. Kathy Humphrey, commenced the evening by acknowledging Sam Hazo’s presence within the arts and cultural community of Pittsburgh. “[Hazo] is a man whose roots in Pittsburgh are rich in cultural tradition, whose roots are rich in what we believe is best for our community,” Humphrey said.
Hazo took the podium reflecting on Carlow’s beginnings acknowledging the work of The Sisters of Mercy within Carlow and the city of Pittsburgh.
Musicians dazzled the audience with music and song between readings. Richard Blanco, the fifth inaugural poet of the U.S, Naomi Shihab Nye, acclaimed poet and writer, and Tracey K. Smith, a two-time U.S poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, read works that reflected on women, home, family, and race.