WAMFEST 2012 Brings Academy Award-Winning Poet and Others to FDU

MADISON, N.J. (March 19, 2012)—Fairleigh Dickinson University's WAMFEST 2012 (The Words and Music Festival) presents Academy Award-winning poet Tom Sleigh in conversation and performance with punk-rocker Kristin Hersch on April 4, 2012 and writers P.K. Harmon and Barbara Froman on April 5, 2012. Author Wesley Stace will moderate both events.

Both events are free and open to the public and both events will be held at 2 p.m. on successive days in Hartman Lounge, Hennessy Hall, at FDU’s College at Florham in Madison, NJ. 

Sleigh is the author of eight books of poetry. He has received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an Individual Writer's Award from the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Fund, a Guggenheim grant, and two National Endowment for the Arts grants, among many others. He currently teaches in the MFA Program at Hunter College (CUNY). 

Hersh has been involved in punk rock for the past 25 years. She founded the art-punk band Throwing Muses at the age of 14 and in 2004, moved on to form 50FootWave. In 2007, Hersh co-founded the non-profit Coalition of Artists and Stake-Holders (CASH Music). CASH works to fund several different artists and labels and has grown into a widely recognized free and open-source software foundation focused on tools for musician businesses.

"This event will bring together Hersh, the most influential Indie rock star of her generation and Sleigh, the most celebrated poet of his generation, as they explore the space between words and music, sing some songs, chat, and improvise.” Said David Daniel, the director of WAMFEST and FDU's Creative Writing Program. “As with Bruce Springsteen and Robert Pinsky at WAMFEST in 2010, this is an historical meeting of two of the most innovative and important artists of our time.”

Froman and Harmon are the prose and poetry winners respectively of the 2011 Serving House Books Award. 

Stace is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and novelist. He has released fifteen music albums under his stage name John Wesley Harding. He has also written three novels under his real name, Wesley Stace. His most recent novel is Charles Jessold, Considered a Murderer, which has met with wide acclaim.  

WAMFEST is an annual series hosted by FDU’s Becton College and the Creative Writing Program that brings successful artists of various genres to the Madison campus to inspire and inform students who hope to one day follow in these artists’ creative footsteps. WAMFEST is an ongoing celebration and exploration of the relationship between creative writing and the popular arts; it brings together artists from various fields for unique conversations, collaborations, and performances. Recent guests have included, among many others, Mark Morris, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Pinsky, Rosanne Cash, Paul Muldoon, and Eugene Mirman. WAMFEST has recently been singled out for recognition of its groundbreaking programming by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Admission to WAMFEST 2012 is free; however, due to space limitations, reservations are recommended. For more information, visit WAMFEST’s blog at http://wamfest.wordpress.com or contact David Daniel at ddaniel@fdu.edu. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham is located at 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, N.J.

For Immediate Release

FDU Office of Public Relations

   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Dickinson Hall, Room 3365, H-DH3-1, Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper,
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Fax: 201-692-7019

Kenna Caprio,
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Helen Grill,
Senior General Clerk
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FDU Office of Public Relations

   (College at Florham Office)
East Cottage, Second Floor, M-EC2-01, Madison, NJ 08450

Scott Giglio,
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Daniel Landau,
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