News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPT. 11, 2016

Foo Foo Literary Scene to Feature New York Poets,
Pop-Up Poetry, Workshops, Free Readings

West Florida Literary Federation will bring poetry and poets to the November Foo Foo Festival with sponsorship of readings and workshops by national writers Barbara Henning and Lewis Warsh. The WFLF program, Writing off the Wall, will also feature Open Mic readings at restaurants and pop-up poetry around Pensacola by local poets.

Pensacola’s 2016 Foo Foo Festival of arts and culture, a third annual event to be held Nov. 3 through 14th . is a tourism-marketing program sponsored by the Art, Culture and Entertainment organization. Nearly two dozen local organizations plan to participate, offering art, ballet, jazz, choral and concert music, opera and theater, among other events.

WFLF has scheduled a reading and book signing with Henning on Nov. 10 at 7-8:30 p.m. at Artel Gallery, and a writer’s workshop, “Walking with Basho: From Haiku to Prose Poem,” at the Bowden Building on Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. until noon.

Warsh will do a reading and book signing at 7-8:30 p.m. at Artel Gallery on Nov. 11, followed by a workshop, “Writing in the Moment,’’ at the Bowden Building from 10 a.m. until noon on Nov. 12.

Barbara Henning is an American poet and fiction writer, author of eight books of poetry, three novels, a series of photo-poem pamphlets and a collection of interviews. Recent books include A Swift Passage, My Autobiography, and Thirty Miles to Rosebud. She lives in New York City and teaches for Naropa University, Writers.com and Long Island University, where she is Professor Emerita.

Lewis Warsh is co-founder with Anne Waldman of Angel Hair Magazine and Books and co-editor with Bernadette Mayer of United Artists Magazine and Books. He is the author of over 25 books of poetry, fiction and autobiography, most recently Inseparable: Poems 1995-2005, A Place in the Sun and Alien Abduction. He is director of the MFA program in creative writing at Long Island University.

Workshop fees are $25 each; two fees include a one-year membership in WFLF.  Poet Laureate of Northwest Florida Jamey Jones will interview Henning and Warsh at a Sunday morning brunch on Nov. 13 at Voices of Pensacola Multicultural Center. WFLF is also partnering with Art Beyond Walls for themed wheat-pasting and Graffiti Bridge art.  Register at wflf.org


August 2016 magazine features WFLF Student Poetry Contest

Grant Recipients for the Third Annual Foo Foo Fest Announced!

PENSACOLA, Fla., May 9, 2016 – Art, Culture and Entertainment (ACE), Inc., today announced the recipients of nearly $300,000 in grant funding for the third annual Foo Foo Festival (Foo Foo Fest), the upcoming fall festival of arts and cultural events to be held November 3-14, 2016.

Foo Foo Fest, the tourism-marketing program of ACE, promises to be bigger and better in 2016 as the area works to attract cultural tourists to Escambia County, Fla.

“In the last two years, we’ve managed to create an event and brand that now resonates with visitors and locals alike,” said David Bear, president of ACE. “Because of that, the local arts organizations now truly and fully understand our vision and hope for this event. This year’s grant recipients have really dreamt up a level of programming that will further make people think of Pensacola as an arts and cultural destination.”

Foo Foo Fest, a 12-day celebration of the arts acts as a “marketing umbrella” for the period of time to help leverage the breadth and depth of the overall selection of events, which are comprised of programming provided by 21 grant recipients and many more existing events.

Highlighting the list of grant recipients are the Friends of Downtown Pensacola who, through their grant submission, have been awarded an $88,250 mega-grant to paint a mural featuring iconic Pensacola imagery on the Jefferson Street parking garage in downtown Pensacola.

Full List of Grant Recipients:

  • African American Heritage Society
  • Ballet Pensacola
  • Choral Society of Pensacola
  • Clean Energy Fest
  • Eventy EggFest
  • Friends of Downtown Pensacola
  • First City Art Center
  • Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival
  • Jazz Society of Pensacola
  • Legal Services of North Florida
  • My Brothers & Sisters
  • Pensacola Bay Concert Band
  • Pensacola Civic Band
  • Pensacola Lighthouse Foundation
  • Pensacola Little Theatre/Appetite 4 Life
  • Pensacola MESS Hall
  • Pensacola Museum of Art
  • Pensacola Opera
  • Pensacola Symphony Orchestra
  • Pensacola Waterfront Mission
  • Truth for Youth
  • West Florida Literary Federation


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Local Author to Read from Water Skiing on the Amazon

Patricia Taylor Edmisten, former University of West Florida professor, Peace Corps volunteer, and author of six books, will read from her newest book, Water Skiing on the Amazon: A Memoir for My Grandchildren, at West Florida Literary Federation’s Third Tuesday Open Mic,Tuesday, Jan. 20.After Dr. Edmisten’s opening reading, other members who have published books during 2014 will present autographed copies to WFLF for the Dr. Francis Patrick Cassidy Literary Resource Center which houses the works of regional writers. The literary library is located in WFLF’s office on the second floor of the Pensacola Cultural Center. Area writers are invited to read their works at the free event which is open to the public. Refreshments at 6:30 followed by readings at 7 p.m.,. Second Floor Board Room, Pensacola Cultural Center, 400 S. Jefferson. Come to listen or to read.

Escambia County Student Poetry Contest Director Susan Lewis Announces Winners of 2016 Contest


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

1st-2nd Grade Division: 1st place, Mac Sherrill, “On a Mountain,” Episcopal Day School; 2nd place, Brooklynn Shelby, “Alone,” Episcopal Day School; 3rd place, Lola Oden, “In the Pool, Episcopal Day School; Honorable Mention. Chase Miller, “Alone at the Beach,” Episcopal Day School; Director’s Selection, Sienna Porter,“Alone,” Episcopal Day School; Ryann Burson, “I am Sad,” Cordova Park Elementary.

 

3rd-4th Grade Division: 1st place, Mary Catherine Browning, “Here I sit…All Alone,”

Episcopal Day School; 2nd place, Lexi Dittenber “Reading in my Bedroom,” Episcopal Day School;

3rd place, Rebekah Copeland, “So Bored and Alone,” Brentwood Elementary Magnet School; Honorable Mention, Jare Pettit, “When my Parents aren’t with Me,” Brentwood Elementary Magnet School; Director’s Selection: Julia Gibson, “When I’m Alone,” N.B. Cook Elementary, Ashton Merritt, “My Feelings,” Brentwood Elementary Magnet School.

 

5th-6th Grade Division: 1st place, Amelia Myers, “Porcelain Doll,” Episcopal Day School; 2nd place, Jill Litvak “Driving Through my Dreams,” Episcopal Day School; 3rd place, Llewellyn Litvak, “When I’m Alone,” Episcopal Day School; Honorable Mention, Zachary Morrison, “The Darkness,”Episcopal Day School; Director’s Selection, Lilly Branton, “When I’m Alone,” Episcopal Day School; Director’s Selection, Mia Warner, “When I feel Alone,” Episcopal Day School.

 

7th-8th Grade Division: 1st place, Alexander Gosse, “On My own,” Creative Learning Academy; 2nd place, Caroline Pollitt, “The Voices,” Episcopal Day School; 3rd place, Samantha Gates, “The Girl in the Back of the Class,” Brown Barge; Honorable Mention, Audrey Hamilton, “It, You,” Episcopal Day School; Director’s Selection, Thinh Pham, “Surfacing,” PATS Center, and Jett Zhang, “Inside Alleviation,” Episcopal Day School.

 

9th-10th Grade Division: 1st place: Mary Middleton, “Dandelions,” Pensacola Christian High School; 2nd place, Jewell Pope “Ocean Stolen Soul,” Tate High School; 3rd place, Hannah Lawrence, “When I’m Alone,” Tate High School; Honorable Mention, Cassielynne Wainwright, “Homeless,” Pensacola Christian High School; Director’s Selection, Chelsea Stiles “When I’m Alone,” Tate High School and Jeremiah Hodge, “The Hurt,” Tate High School.

 

11th-12th Grade Division: 1st place: Ben Murzin, “When I’m Alone,” West Florida High School; 2nd place, Noah Simpson, “Vinyl,” Pensacola Christian High School; 3rd place, Megan Morrison, “Rain,” Pensacola Christian High School; Honorable Mention, Richard Fell, “The Black Buzzard,” Pensacola Christian High School; and Director’s Selection, Sarah Bui, “Alone in the Darkness,” Pensacola Christian High School.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Escambia Student Poetry Contest announces 2015 theme

 Student poets can explore the outer limits of their imaginations with this year’s Escambia County Student Poetry Contest theme, "The Sun, Moon and Stars . . .” The annual contest, sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation, culminates in April, National Poetry Month. Any Escambia County student in grades 1-12 who is enrolled in public, private, or home school programs may enter.

According to Susan Lewis, contest director, this year’s theme allows future writers the "freedom for their imaginations to jump up and out of themselves. 'The Sun, the Moon and the Stars' should be easy for first and second graders to grasp, while older students can explore the outer limits of their belief structure, expand their minds and explore the dark side of the moon."  Lewis encourages young writers to "let their imaginations fly free. The universe is theirs for the taking."

Principals and language arts teachers have entry forms, which are also available online at the WFLF website wflf.org; at the main library;and the Office of School Choice, in the Home School Office, 30 East Texas Drive.

The twenty-four winners in six grade categories will read their poems at Books A Million, 6235 North Davis, Pensacola, Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. First, second and third place winners receive cash prizes. Honorable mention winners receive gift cards. Winning poems are published by West Florida Literary Federation, and student poets are later honored at the book’s launch. Winners receive a complimentary copy of the book which includes their published poems.

Submissions must be typed on 8 ½  x 11 paper, attached to an official entry form and submitted to the Main Library, Children’s Department, 200 West Gregory St., Pensacola by 3 p.m., Friday, March 27.  There is no submission fee.

For more information, e-mail Susan Lewis at susanlewisbooks@yahoo.com.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Local Poet reads from latest books at WFLF Open Mic

          Susan Lewis, local poet and author of five books, will read from her latest titles Hesitation Marks and Misfits, Hellraisers and Orphans: They Don't Belong at West Florida Literary Federation’s Open Mic, Tuesday evening, Oct. 21, at the Pensacola Cultural Center.

          Lewis is well known in the military community for her book The Issued Wife: 20 Years of Marine Corps Marriage, as well as her work with Marine Corps family support groups and for Covenant Hospice.  She directs the Escambia County Student Poetry Contest and is a member of Gulf Coast Authors. Her other titles include Goodbye, Mama and Racing the Past.

           Following Lewis’ readings, area residents are invited to read their own works at open mic. Come to listen  or to read.  Light refreshments at 6:30; Lewis' readings begin at 7 p.m. in the Board Room, second floor, Cultural Center, 400 S. Jefferson. For more information visit www.wflf.org

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 13, 2014

OPEN MIC FEATURES NEW POET LAUREATE

Jamey Jones, the new Poet Laureate of Northwest Florida and instructor at Pensacola State, opens the August 19 Third Tuesday Open Mic with a reading of his poetry. Jones, a fifth generation Pensacolian, holds a Mastsers of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Long Island University and is well known in national and local poetry circles. He taught at LIU and has worked with some of the most influential figures in contemporary poetry never losing touch with Pensacola. His book Blue Rain Morning resonates with the meaning of place, beginning and ending in Pensacola. Sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation, the free event is open to the public. Following Jones’ poetry reading, other area writers and poets will read original works. Come to read or listen. Refreshments at 6:30, readings begin at 7:00, Pensacola Cultural Center, Second Floor, 400 S. Jefferson. For more information visit wflf.org or call Diane Skelton, 932-6812.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

APRIL 21, 2014

Winning student poets to read original poems

Saturday at Books  A Million

Winners of the 2014 Escambia County Student Poetry Contest will read their original poems about the theme “One More Day. . .” Saturday, April 26 at 2 p.m. at Books A Million, 6235 N. Davis Highway, Pensacola.

This year 392 student poets entered the annual contest sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation. Winners receive cash prizes and gift cards in addition to a copy of a book which includes all the winning poems, according to contest director Susan Lewis. She invites all area residents to come to the event to hear the inspirational young poets.

Winners are 1st- 2nd Grade Division: first place, Gianna Allison, Ferry Pass; second place, Caroline Donalson, Episcopal Day School: third place, Avery Payne, Episcopal Day School; honorable mention, Ryleigh Diamond, Episcopal Day School; special commendation, Claire Popp, Joey Sinkovich, Episcopal Day School.

3rd- 4th Grade Division: first place, Mackenzie Hale, Bellview; second place, Madison Leigh Brown, A.K.Suter; third place, Gabrielle Beauford, N.B.Cook; honorable mention, -Cassady Hawkins, N.B.Cook; special commendation, Nila Samala, Amelia Myers, Warren Henke, N.B.Cook.

5th- 6th Grade Division: first place, Elle Branton, Episcopal Day School; second place, Adele Dorion, Creative Learning Academy; third place, Elisabeth Walton, Episcopal Day School; honorable mention, Meg O’Connor, home school; special commendation, Emma Morrow, Jack Menzies, Episcopal Day School.

7th- 8th Grade Division: first place, Brooke Gaston, Episcopal Day School; second place, Drew Jiminez, Episcopal Day School; third place, Alexandra Grace Branton, Episcopal Day School; honorable mention, Becky McLeod, Ransom; special commendation, Louise Harris, Savannah Tatum, Episcopal Day School; Shana Kilcawley, Lily Savage, Creative Learning Academy.

9th- 10th Grade Division: first  place, Justin Case Shimp, Pensacola Christian Academy; second place Katelyn Annell Troutman, Pensacola Christian Academy; third place, Nick Giovanini, Pensacola Christian High School; honorable mention Justin Fairbanks, Pensacola Christian Academy; special commendation, Benjamin Akerman, Pensacola Christian High School.

11th-12th Grade Division: first place, Kaitlyn Boland, Pensacola Christian; second place, Margaret McCaskill, West Florida; third place, Lexie Grammer, Pensacola Christian; honorable mention, Michael Tenbrink, Tate; special commendation, David Gage Ellis, Pensacola Christian.

First place winners receive $50; second place, $25; third place, $15; and honorable mention, Books A Million gift card. Special commendation poems are also included in the contest book. Winners will again be honored at a book launch in the fall.

March 27, 2014

Gulf Breeze poet presents "Carl Sandburg and Me"

In celebration of April's National Poetry Month, West Florida Literary Federation's third Tuesday open mic will feature Gulf Breeze poet Jack Brooking (who writes under the pen name Jack Beach) presenting "Carl Sandburg and Me" on Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m., second floor Pensacola Cultural Center. Brooking, who shares his hometown of Galesburg, Illinois, with the Pulitzer-prize winning poet, will discuss poetic things he learned from the works of Sandburg, tell anecdotes about meeting Sandburg and seeing him perform, plus read from the works of Sandburg. The short program is followed by an open mic where area writers read original works. Come to listen or to read. Refreshments at 6:30, readings begin at 7 p.m. 400 S. Jefferson, downtown Pensacola.

January 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Student Poetry Contest Calls for One More Day

 Student writers can press rewind or fast forward on their lives to win cash prizes in this year’s Escambia County Student Poetry Contest.  “One More Day,” the 2014  theme, offers endless opportunities for creativity, says Susan Lewis, contest director.

The annual contest, sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation, culminates in April, National Poetry Month. Any Escambia County student in grade 1-12 who is enrolled in public, private, or home school programs may enter.

According to Lewis, successful poems are a “product of the student’s own experience, observations and world. Winning poems use imagery, sensory impressions and vivid language to express original thoughts.”

The twenty-four winners in six grade categories will read their poems at Books A Million, 6235 North Davis, Pensacola, Saturday, April 26 at 2 p.m. First, second and third place winners receive cash prizes. Honorable mention winners receive gift cards. Winning poems are published by West Florida Literary Federation, and student poets are later honored at the book’s launch. Winners receive a complimentary copy of the book which includes their published poems.

Submissions must be typed on 8 ½  x 11 paper, attached to an official entry form and submitted to the Main Library, Children’s Department, 200 West Gregory St., Pensacola by 3 p.m., Friday, March 28. Entry forms are available at the Office of School Choice, in the Home School Office, 30 East Texar Drive, Pensacola; from English/Language Arts teache­­rs; on online at wflf.org or westfloridaliteraryfederation.com. There is no submission fee. For more information, e-mail Susan Lewis at susanlewisbooks@yahoo.com.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Local writers read Pensacola perspectives, 1930 to 1965

Area residents will read personal narratives describing “Black Life in Northwest Florida: 1930-1965” in a free Viva Florida 500 event, Sunday, November 24 from 2-4 p.m. at the downtown Pensacola branch of the West Florida Library. 

The program divides the thirty-five year period into three sections: Living Black, Surviving Jim Crow and Remembering the Movement. In the first segment, longtime Pensacola residents describe growing up in different neighborhoods, from East Brent to the Navy Yard. Filmmaker Robin Reshard will show a clip from her documentary on Belmont and DeVilliers. Other authors include Mamie Hixon, Ora Wills, Ida Coleman and Georgia Smith. Roz Fisher will read Diane Gaines Jackson’s account of “The Tan Yard,” Demeturis Hale reads Debra Ellick’s personal narrative, and Delaine Wright will read Claudette Chapman’s “Uprooted.”

In Surviving Jim Crow, Jack Beverly reads James Chadwick’s “City Bus,” Shirley Stanley reads “Accused,” Charlie Davis reads “Carter,” and Jacqueline Pa11rker reads Dr. Maria Mickens’ “Movie Interrupted.” Pensacolians Remember the Movement includes two interview readings, Demeturis Hale on William Marshall and Roz Fisher on Horace Edward Harrison

The afternoon’s program ends on a lighter note with two humorous pieces Laugh Lines, which includes Jim Henderson reading Pelvo White’s “Hollin’” and  Michele Stiffin reading “The Mourner.”

Ora Wills, who orchestrated the program, says she hopes the readings offer perspective on “the surprising diversity in some Pensacola neighborhoods; that it shows how citizens coped with and endured some of the negative aspects of Jim Crow, and explains how the civil rights movement unfolded locally. 

The event, which is part of a yearblong series of Viva Florida 500 events sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation and the African American Heritage Society, also features dancers from “Art in Motion: Industrious Women” interpreting the paintings of Sonja Griffin Evans. 

The event is free and open to the public.  The library is located at 239 N. Spring, Pensacola. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Emerald Coast Review features best of regional poets, writers

Writers and artists featured in the 2013 regional literary anthology Emerald Coast Review will be honored with a reading and book launch at Maritime Park Amphitheatre on Saturday, November 23, 4 – 6 p.m. 

More than 100 entries were submitted by writers and artists for consideration for Emerald Coast Review. The book, published by West Florida Literary Federation, includes the work of forty writers from Pensacola, Milton, Fort Walton Beach and Gulf Breeze and as far away as New Jersey, Oregon, California, New Hampshire and North Carolina. The volume also includes “Viva Florida,” a special collection of work inspired by Viva Florida 500. This year’s book includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, graphic design, and art.  Pensacola photographer Khristina Hopson’s work is featured on the cover. Dr. Regina Sakalarios-Rogers, creative writing instructor at UWF, edited the book. 

Included is work by Joel Allegretti, Cleo Battle, Jack Beach, Ann Benton, Karen Braucher, Candace Culberson, Charlie Davis, Julie DeMarko, Patricia Edmisten,  John Foster, Stewart Hoffman, Katheryn Holmes, Marilyn Howard, Sandra Hoynacki, Lynn Huber, Mitchell Kay, Henry Langhorne, Matthew Lippman,  Joy Skelton McClure, Linda McDade, Scott Mayo, Grady Miller, Karen Morris, Jae Bevin Murphy, Mary Anne Napoleone, Patricia Nelson, Alina Newman, Ivy Page, Kali Richardson, Cindy Rickey, Jennifer Foehl-Rodriguez, Jeff Santosuosso, Diane Skelton, Diane Solis, Christine Valentine, Andrea Walker, Benjamin Whittle, Jeannie Zokan, and O.Z.

West Florida Literary Federation has published the biannual book since 1989. The book launch and reading is sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation in partnership with the City of Pensacola Neighborhood Services. It is free and open to the public.

Emerald Coast Review will be available for purchase at the event or can be ordered on Amazon.com. 


NOVEMBER 4, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Writer discusses Panhandle novels, fact and fiction

Author Lloyd Albritton of Atmore, Alabama, discusses “The Panhandle Novel: Can Fiction Preserve History and Tradition” in a Viva 500 Literary Reflection,  November 19 at the Pensacola Cultural Center.  His talk opens the third open mic sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation.

Albritton is the author of Baby Blue, a fictional story of murder and family tragedy set in the summer of 1951 in Escambia County, Florida. Albritton’s storytelling techniques and colorful characters are likened to those of Garrison Keillor and Will Rogers.

The evening begins with refreshments at 6:30, with Albritton speaking at 7.  Open mic follows. The event is free and open to the public.

October 22, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Student Poets to read winning “My Florida” poems

          Student poets who penned winning poems in the Escambia County Student Poetry Contest will read their “My Florida” verses to the public Saturday, Nov.  2, from 3 - 5 p.m.  at the amphitheater at Vince J. Whibbs Community Maritime Park.  The reading marks the official launch of the book featuring the winning student poems from the 2013 contest sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation.

        Inspired by the Viva Florida 500 commemoration, West Florida Literary Federation encouraged students to write poems using the theme “My Florida.” 

Student Poetry Contest Coordinator Susan Lewis invites the public to come hear the student poets read. “It’s wonderful to hear the children read their poems with such emotion.”

Winning poems by the younger students include creative allusions to the flora and fauna of the state, while the older poets experimented with different forms of poetry to express their feelings of Florida. “Several poems also impressed the judges with their effective use of historical allusions.”

The quality of the entries, according to Lewis, was so inspiring that the judges added several special commendations. Winning poets receive copies of the book as well as prizes. Limited copies of the book will be available for purchase at the amphitheater launch or Amazon.com2013 winners from Grades 1-2, Juliet Penta, first;  Lauren Nowak, second;  Chase Lastowski, third;  and Caleb Talbert, honorable mention. Grades 3-4, Madelyn Almond. First; Ben Spangrus, second; Kira Tully, third; Rachel Parker, honorable mention; Megan Brown, Elz Hightower, Mia Warren, special commendations. Grades 5-6, Madison Cothran, first; David Stafford, second; Amy Sullivan, third; Cassidy Tehran, honorable mention; Allee Donald, Timmy Mrachek, special commendations. Grades 7-8, Evelyn Odom, first; Hillary Humphries, second; Heather Hurst, third; Karoline Parkley, honorable mention; Abby Brown, Louise Harris, Ally Shumpert, Harrison Williams, special commendations. Grades 9-10, Margaret McCaskill, first; Patrick Willingham, second; Carolyn Fulfer, third; Matthew Kreuser, honorable mention; Elizabeth Black, special commendation. Grades 11-12, Layla Zeitouni, first; Emily Haines, second; Kayla Bedell, third; Sarah Jacobs, honorable mention; Amy Sapp, special commendation.

August 28, 2013

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Authors Share Tips for Writing Memoirs

 “Writing and Publishing Memoirs – Inexpensively and Almost Painlessly,” a two-hour workshop slated for Saturday, September 21, will feature Gulf Breeze authors Charlie and Sandra Davis sharing their experiences on writing and publishing their memoirs. 

The workshop features tips, tricks and lessons they learned first-hand.  Topics include writing tips , technical and software, resources and research, printing, publishing and marketing.  The workshop also addresses the questions where to begin, what to write, and how to stay motivated.

The Davises, a husband and wife team, have each published memoirs in the last five years. Charlie is the author of Growing Up in Pensacola and a soon-to-be-released sequel. Sandra’s memoir is entitled So What’s A Nice girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? Seoul to Saigon.

The workshop, sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation, runs from 9-11 and will be held on the second floor of the Pensacola Cultural Center.  The cost is $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. Space is limited. For reservations call Diane Skelton, 932-6812, or email westfloridaliteraryfederation@gmail.com


August 23, 2013

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Award-winning poet leads Monday evening Poetry Lounge

Katherine Nelson-Born, former president of West Florida Literary Federation and award-winning poet, will lead the fall Poetry Lounge workshop Monday evenings, Sept. 9 – Nov. 4  from 6-8 in Suite 212, Pensacola Cultural Center.

Poetry Lounge provides a relaxed atmosphere where participants apply knowledge of language structure and conventions to read, create, critique and discuss poetry. The workshop’s goal is to deepen understanding and appreciation of poetry through individual expression. Nelson-Born, PhD, is a college professor of English composition and American Literature. Poetry Lounge is sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation, free and open to the public. 400 S. Jefferson, Pensacola, FL.  For more information contact  Nelson-Born at bcs.editor@gmail.com,  or visit Workshops & Critique groups at http://wflf.org.

August 21, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Florida through the Eyes of Explorers

Ann Benton of Pensacola State Library Services reads from original descriptions penned by early explorers to Northwest Florida in Viva 500 – La Florida! Chronicles of Eden.  Her presentation, a Viva 500 Literary Reflection, opens an evening of readings by local poets and writers. Come to listen or to read your original work. Free. Open to the Public

 

­­­­Tuesday, September 17
Refreshments at 6:30, Readings begin at 7:00

Pensacola Cultural Center

400 S. Jefferson

Second Floor Board Room

Pensacola, Florida 32502

 


 August 1, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 WRITING SEMINAR FEATURES PERILS, PEARLS OF PUBLISHING

 Aspiring writers are invited to hear Linda Wasserman, publisher and editor, discuss “So. . . You Want to be a Writer: Perils on the Way to Pearls,” at 9 a.m., Saturday, August 24 at Pensacola Cultural Center. The three-hour seminar also features a reading by Leanna Conley, author of War Stories: A Father Talks to His Daughter. The seminar, hosted by West Florida Literary Federation, is open to the public, but reservations are required. The cost is $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers.

In the first segment, Wasserman will help the audience sort through the perils of the writing and publishing world in search of ways to become a successful writer. She’ll share insights about writing, editing, publishing and marketing, and hopes to “irritate” the audience just enough to start “some real pearl production.”  Her presentation includes a question and answer session.

Demonstrating marketing techniques for a successful reading, Conley, who is published by Pelican Press Pensacola, will read excerpts from War Stories: A Father Talks to His Daughter.  In addition to being a writer and speaker, Conley is a comic who conducts workshops for creative and corporate groups on using stand-up comedy to improve public speaking.  Her writing and photography have been featured in Bella Magazine, and she was house emcee of The Comedy Zone.  War Stories, a tribute to her father, is a compilation of heart-rending and humorous accounts of his life as a soldier during WWII. She is currently working on her next book, The Daily Janet, a comic homage to her mother.

 Wasserman, publisher and editor of Pelican Press Pensacola, has worked in various segments of the publishing, editing, and writing fields including newspaper proofreader, newspaper assistant editor, feature writer, columnist, newsletter editor and website editor. Also a freelance writer, she is co-author of How to Market Your Book With a Book Trailer.  Well known in writing circles for working with regional authors, Wasserman has published the last five poetry collections of former Poet Laureate of Northwest Florida Henry Langhorne, as well as children’s author Eileen Mary Wisdom. She counts her work with numerous local authors among her most fulfilling accomplishments.

The workshop is limited to 40 participants. Reservation deadline is Wednesday, August 21, 5 p.m. To reserve a place, email westfloridaliteraryfederation@gmail.com or call Diane Skelton, 850-932-6812. For more information visit http://wflf.org                                            

 

July 16, 2013

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Writers' Group Kickstarts Fundraiser with Poems, Flash Fiction & Blogs

 

Want a personalized poem written by a poet laureate or to name the characters in a short story? These are only a few of the creative rewards offered by area poets and writers of West Florida Literary Federation in their Kickstarter campaign.

The nonprofit 501c3 all-volunteer organization located in Pensacola is seeking corporate and individual sponsors to help fund a dance troupe to perform in Art in Motion: From the Gallery to the Theatre. The major performance, funded in part by the Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, is slated for October 24.  The African-American Heritage Society is co-hosting the event which features noted poet-scholar-performer Kwame Dawes.

Dawes, a rock-star poet, Emmy-award winner and authority on African-American migration, takes the stage following a tribute to African-American contributions to the culture and history of Northwest Florida. Costumed actors from Pensacola reenact the “Spirit of the Heroes” before an interpretative dance troupe, choreographed by Nielah Black Spears, brings to life the paintings of cultural artist Sonja Griffin Evans.  The dancers, who have been practicing for months and will perform at several mini events, will interpret the paintings from the Forgotten Places series to depict the ‘Industrious Women” who picked cotton in the Panhandle, worked at Arcadia Mills and operated Julee Cottage.

John Baradell, owner of Consult Write One and the communications blog "Right Good," created the WFLF Kickstarter project and explains "civic crowdfunding is the avenue of the future for many arts projects. Using the power of the internet to communicate with like-minded individuals about a desired program in the community is a no-brainer. It's fast, effective, and accurate.

"Kickstarter has emerged as the definitive leader in this field," he continued. "In 2012, they provided more funding for arts projects than the NEA did, and have emerged as the world's leading funding program for creative proposals. WFLF's need to quickly supplement their government grant to keep "Art in Motion" a first-class venture makes adding Kickstarter to the mixture natural."

WFLF President Diane Skelton added “we wanted to make this fun for individuals and beneficial to business sponsors. Our rewards are clever with different types of writing for different sponsor levels ranging from a haiku or limerick to a blog or flash fiction story.” To encourage corporate and business sponsors, Skelton says the WFLF team designed a social media slam including Twitter, Facebook and website coverage, plus advertising, blog writing, announcements and certificates.

Sponsor levels range from one dollar to $1000. The group’s goal is $3600. “Everyone is a valuable donor to us,” Skelton continues. “The arts are for everyone and every dollar counts.”

All contributions are tax-deductible, minus the cost of the rewards. Kickstarter is an “all-or-nothing” process; pledges are processed only if the appeals reaches its goal of $3600.

The WFLF project Art in Motion can be viewed on at Kickstarter.com http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/500voices/folk-art-and-interpretive-dance-meet-poetry-art-in

For more information visit WFLF’s website (wflf.org) or email Skelton at westfloridaliteraryfederation@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2013 

Local cookbook author, noted caterer, chef and Poet Laureate of Northwest Florida Julie DeMarko demonstrates how recipes and cookbooks are a part of history in “Cookbooks: Preserving Literary History, a Viva Florida­­ 500 Literary Reflection.”  Sample fares made from historic cookbook recipes. Her presentation opens an evening of open mic readings from members and guests of West Florida Literary Federation.  Come to listen or to read your original work. Free, Open to the Public. 

Tuesday, July 16

Refreshments at 6:30, Readings begin at 7:00

Pensacola Cultural Center

400 S. Jefferson

Board Room, 2nd Floor

Pensacola, Florida 32502

 

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 


April 29, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Art in Motion: From the Gallery to the Theatre
Saturday, May 25, 2012
12 -12:30 Gumbo Gallery, 314 N. DeVilliers St., Pensacola, FL 32501

Watch the paintings of cultural artist Sonja Griffin Evans come to life in her gallery as Nielah Black-Spears, artistic director of PB&J, Inc., performs an interpretative dance to "Industrious Women" with the MJJ Praise Dancers. The mini-event is the first performance in a yearlong series portraying the African-American contributions to the historical and cultural development of Northwest Florida. The performance is sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation with assistance from the Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities in celebration of Viva 500. After the performance, stroll the streets of the historic Belmont and DeVilliers cultural area for the DeVilliers Cultural Heritage Arts Festival.



April 29, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FLORIDA HUMANITIES COUNCIL AWARDS MAJOR GRANT TO WFLF

Florida Humanities Council has awarded Pensacola’s West Florida Literary Federation a $15,000 grant to bring noted scholar-poet-performer Kwame Dawes to Pensacola for Art in Motion: From the Gallery to the Theatre.  

An Emmy winner and prize-winning poet, Dawes is currently the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska, where he is a Chancellor's Professor of English. He will perform in Pensacola on October 24. Along with Dawes, the evening will feature the paintings of local cultural artist Sonja Griffin Evans brought to life by the dancers of MJJ Praise and choreography of Nielah Black-Spears. Evans’ paintings Cotton Conversation, The Washer Woman and The Welcome are symbolic of the industrious free women of color who picked the cotton, wove the cloth, washed the clothes and then used the profits to assist others reach their freedom.  The opening act also includes the “Spirits of the Heroes,” a tribute to African-Americans who helped settle Pensacola.

Two mini-events prior to Dawes’ performance will also showcase the African- American contributions to the culture and history of Northwest Florida.  In addition, a series of monthly Viva 500 Literary Reflections and open mics will explore the literary heritage of Northwest Florida through different genre.  The first mini-performance is noon on May 25 at the Gumbo Gallery, 314 N. DeVilliers, Pensacola.  Artel Gallery will host the second performance during October’s Gallery Night.

West Florida Literary Federation is partnering with the African-American Heritage Society to produce the events. The grant was one of nine $15,000 grants awarded by Florida Humanities Council with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More information on Kwame Dawes: http://blueflowerarts.com/booking/kwame-dawes

Photos of Kwame Dawes: http://blueflowerarts.com/photo-gallery#d

Florida Humanities Council: http://www.flahum.org/Grants/Featured_Awarded

West Florida Literary Federation: http://wflf.org


April 13, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WINNING STUDENT POETS TO READ SATURDAY, APRIL 27

Nearly 300 students aged six to eighteen submitted poems in the 2013 Escambia County Student Poetry Contest.  Winners will read their poems to the public at Books A Million, 6235 North Davis on Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m.

Inspired by the Florida Viva 500 commemoration, West Florida Literary Federation, sponsor of the annual contest, asked students to write poems using the theme “My Florida.”  The quality of the entries, according to Student Poetry Contest Coordinator Susan Lewis, was so inspiring that the judges added several special commendations.  Winners receive cash prizes, an opportunity to read their work to the public, a copy of their poem published in the annual collection of winners and a book launch. Special commendation poems will also be included in the publication.

Lewis invites the public to attend the student poetry reading at Books a Million. “It’s wonderful to hear the children read their poems with such emotion.” Winning poems by the younger students include creative allusions to the flora and fauna of the state, while the older poets experimented with different forms of poetry to express their feelings of Florida. “Several poems also impressed the judges with their effective use of historical allusions.”

Winners are Grades 1-2, Juliet Penta, first;  Lauren Nowak, second;  Chase Lastowski, third;  and Caleb Talbert, honorable mention. Grades 3-4, Madelyn Almond. First; Ben Spangrus, second; Kira Tully, third; Rachel Parker, honorable mention; Megan Brown, Elz Hightower, Mia Warren, special commendations. Grades 5-6, Madison Cothran, first; David Stafford, second; Amy Sullivan, third; Cassidy Tehran, honorable mention; Allee Donald, Timmy Mrachek, special commendations. Grades 7-8, Evelyn Odom, first; Hillary Humphries, second; Heather Hurst, third; Karoline Parkley, honorable mention; Abby Brown, Louise Harris, Ally Shumpert, Harrison Williams, special commendations. Grades 9-10, Margaret McCaskill, first; Patrick Willingham, second; Carolyn Fulfer, third; Matthew Kreuser, honorable mention; Elizabeth Black, special commendation. Grades 11-12, Layla Zeitouni, first; Emily Haines, second; Kayla Bedell, third; Sarah Jacobs, honorable mention; Amy Sapp, special commendation.



Tuesday, April 16, 2013
6:30 - 9:30 pm
Viva Florida 500: Literary Reflections - Poet Laureates of Northwest Florida
Pensacola Cultural Center
400 S. Jefferson, Second Floor Board Room
Pensacola, FL 32502


Celebrate National Poetry Month at WFLF's Open Mic featuring a Viva 500 Literary Reflection on the Poet Laureates of Northwest Florida and readings from the work of the six poets honored with the title. Bring your own work to read or listen to the readings of area writers as they share their original works. Refreshments at 6:30, readings begin at 7. Sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation. Free, open to the public.


February 26, 2013


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

West Florida Literary Federation Honors Gulf Breeze Resident

West Florida Literary Federation honored longtime Gulf Breeze resident Jack Brooking with Member Emeritus status at its annual membership meeting held at the home of Joe and Marilyn Howard in Gulf Breeze in late February.  Upon receiving the award, Brooking read an excerpt from his 2011 book The Theatah: An Academic’s Love Affair with the Wicked Stage which describes his activities with the organization in its early years. Later in the evening Brooking was also featured in a dual poetry reading with poet Katheryn Holmes. He read “The Lonely Man” and she read “Natural Mystic,” both poems inspired by the plight of a homeless man, yet written decades apart.

Before retiring to Gulf Breeze,  Brooking taught at University of Kansas from 1955 to 1974 and then at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.  Often writing under the pen name Jack Beach, Brooking has also published The Three-Mile Bridge, Across Pensacola Bay on a Span of Poems; I Love You Pensacola, Seasoned Verse; Bits and Pieces: Poems of My Scattered Life; The Grand Tour: A Steamer Trunk of Verses; Without a Net: Stories of Our Risky Flights Toward Love, Loss and Home; and Mardi Gras: Beads, Belles and Balls: Poems, Stories and Prose Snapshots.

Dr. Brooking studied theatre at Goodman Theatre of Chicago and University of Iowa, and attended graduate school at Western Reserve University. Brooking has been a member of WFLF since its founding in 1987 and was active in both the poetry and theatre aspects of the group in its early years.


February 7, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Call for Submissions

Emerald Coast Review is now accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art for its 2013 issue.  We are a regional publication looking to publish literature about the Emerald Coast or by authors on the Emerald Coast.  Send us your best work on subjects you are passionate about; all authors and poets are invited to write in celebration of Viva Florida 500.   Complete submission guidelines are available at wflf.org, and should be submitted via email by May 1, 2013. The biannual anthology, published by West Florida Literary Federation of Pensacola, first appeared in 1987 and is in its seventeenth volume.


January 19, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Student Poetry Contest Calls for My Florida

Inspired by Florida’s Viva 500 celebration, the 2013 Escambia County Student Poetry Contest theme is “My Florida.”  According to Susan Lewis, contest coordinator, “students may write about every aspect of their beautiful state, whether it be their home, the beaches, the diverse people and cultures or simply the stunning sunrises and sunsets Floridians are treated to every single day.”

The annual contest, sponsored by West Florida Literary Federation, culminates in April, National Poetry Month. Any Escambia County student in grade 1-12 who is enrolled in public, private, or home school programs may enter.


According to Lewis, successful poems are a “product of the student’s own experience, observations and world. Winning poems use imagery, sensory impressions and vivid language to express original thoughts.”


The twenty-four winners in six grade categories will read their poems at Books A Million, 6235 North Davis, Pensacola, April 27 at 2 p.m. First, second and third place winners receive cash prizes. Honorable mention winners receive gift cards. Winning poems are published by West Florida Literary Federation, and student poets are later honored at the book’s launch.


Submissions must be typed on 8 ½  x 11 paper, attached to an official “Entry form,” and submitted to the Main Library, Community Relations Office, 200 West Gregory St., Pensacola by 5 p.m., April 5. Entry forms are available at the Office of School Choice, in the Home School Office, 30 East Texar Drive, Pensacola; from English/Language Arts teache­­rs; on online at wflf.org or westfloridaliteraryfederation.com. For more information, contact West Florida Literary Federation at 850-435-0942 or e-mail Lewis at susanlewisbooks@yahoo.com.

 

March 9, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

West Florida Literary Federation

Marks 25 years with poetry and publishing events

West Florida Literary Federation will celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary March 20-24 with a series of poetry workshops presented by internationally acclaimed poet Judyth Hill; a commemorative open mic night; and a banquet featuring Hill as keynote speaker and Pensacola publisher Adam Tillinghast speaking on digital publishing.

Poet Judyth Hill, a resident of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, will conduct two poetry workshops which are open to the public. Thursday, March 22, Hill will lead “Wild Writing,” a vivid add-water-and-stir creativity workshop designed to produce instant and powerful writing. The workshop runs from nine to one and includes lunch. The second workshop, “Memoir as Vision Quest, Writing Our Way Home,” will be held Saturday morning, March 24, and offers methods for writers to tell their life stories in original and creative ways. Cost for each workshop is $65; participants may attend both workshops for $100. For reservations or more informationcontact Julie DeMarko at 850-432-0695 or juliedemarko@hotmail.com. Deadline is March 20.

Hill, who has published six books of poetry, served as a poet-in residence in three different states and is currently the Armand Hammer World College summer poet-in-residence in Mexico. She will present “By the Light of the Silvery. . .”, the keynote address,  at the Federation’s Silver Linings 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Guest speaker Tillinghast, co-owner of Zander House Publishing, will talk on “The Changing Face of Publishing in the Digital Age.”  The banquet, scheduled for Saturday, March 24 at six p.m. at New World Landing, costs $25.  It is open to the public; reservation deadline is March 20. Contact Bonnie Bayly, 850-432-1107.


During the anniversary week, the WFLF will also host its monthly open mic on Tuesday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pensacola Cultural Center.  Local poets and writers will read current and previously published works marking the twenty-five years of the organization. The event is free and open to the public.


West Florida Literary Federation began in 1986 when a group of writers, mostly poets, met in the dank, dark, not yet restored Pensacola jail.  These "The Back Door Poets" used kerosene lanterns for light and often read while rain leaked on them. Sometimes, the poets even read in the jail's courtyard, once the site of hangings. The group was incorporated in 1987 to further the literary arts of northwest Florida and now operates as a 501 C3 charitable organization with offices in the Pensacola Cultural Center.


According to WFLF president Bonnie Bayly, in its twenty-five years, the organization has published sixteen issues of The Emerald Coast Review, a bi-annual literary anthology of work by local and regional writers, honored six poet laureates for the area, and supported theliterary arts of the region in numerous ways.


The Federation also provides local writers with other opportunities to present their works. Poets and writers can participate in monthly open mics and submit their work for publication in The Legend, the group’s monthly newsletter.  During the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill, WFLF published The Spill, an online literary magazine featuring poetry and prose about the effects of the oil spill. Many members also participate in weekly writing and critique workshops held at the Cultural Center.


In conjunction with Friends of the Pensacola Public Library, WFLF co-sponsors an annual poetry competition for Escambia County students. The Federation also funds a scholarship at Pensacola State College and assists area groups with literacy programs.


Membership in the group is open to any person interested in writing and literature. For more information contact Bonnie Bayly, WFLF president, at 850-
432-1107 or bbayly@cox.net.
Subpages (1): Spill Archive 2010