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BSU's President Mickey Burnim and The Wire's Bus Howard to Headline BSU Poetry Fest

April 27, 2012

Bowie, Md.-Bowie State University will present Ignite the Voice Within: BSU's First Twelve Hour Poetry Fest in celebration of National Poetry Month on Friday, April 27, 2012 on the BSU campus.

Poems will be read by the Bowie State University Community as well as the greater metro DC community. The Wire's Bus Howard, as well as BSU president, Dr. Mickey L. Burnim, will share a poem. Noted area poets, who include Monique Akassi, Kimberly Collins, Carrza Dubose, Martha Edmonds, Laini Mataka, Marjorie Menzel, Denise Rose, Jo'rell Whitfield, and Ron K. Williams will also read poems.

"We envision Ignite the Voice Within: BSU's First Twelve Hour Poetry Fest as a communal celebration of literature and language. We are excited to showcase the creative gifts of BSU students," shared Professor Magin LaSov Gregg, faculty co-sponsor, along with Nicole Wilson, for the event.

The public is invited to participate. Ten minute time slots for individuals and sixty minute time slots for groups are available. There will be space for same day reading requests as well. Poems shared can be original works or individuals can read the works of their favorite poets. Readers of all ages are welcome and material shared during Ignite the Voice Within must be appropriate for all age groups.   

"Ignite the Voice Within is a time to showcase the creativity of our community-our students, staff, and faculty.  It's an opportunity to hear and appreciate poetry in a variety of languages, from ancient Kemet to the present day," said Dr. Monifa A. Love of the Department of English and Modern Languages. "Poetry shows us how meaningful one person's vision and creativity can be, and Ignite the Voice provides us with a day to recognize these things."

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country come together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.

Persons interested in being a part of the poetry fest can do so by contacting Dr. Monifa Love at (301) 860-3674 or by email at Ignite the Voice Within: BSU's Twelve Hour Poetry Fest will be held from 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. on Friday, April 27, 2012 on campus at the Torch (statue near the Henry Building). This event is free and open to public.


Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The University places special emphasis on the science, technology, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit the website at