“A Taste of Poetry” Reading Series Concludes With Poems and Wine

Shenandoah Arts Council and The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Present Mark DeFoe and Judy Halebsky

”A Taste of Poetry,” hosted by Shenandoah Arts Council (SAC) and co-sponsored with the locally based magazine The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, will feature readings by poets Mark DeFoe and Judy Halebsky on Saturday, August 28, at 7:00 p.m. at the SAC Gallery located at 811 S. Loudoun Street in Winchester.   The evening begins with a tasting of fine wines from Veramar Vineyards and Locke Store of Millwood.   The event and refreshments, designed to delight the mind and the palate, are free of charge.   Monetary donations are accepted.

This is the second of two evenings of readings by acclaimed Virginia and West Virginia poets.   On Saturday, July 31, Wendell Hawken of Boyce and Steve Scafidi of Summit Point read from their work and attendees were treated to chocolate delicacies from Shenandoah Fine Chocolates and Julie’s Catering before the reading.

Mark DeFoe is Professor Emeritus of English at West Virginia Wesleyan University in Buckhannon - Photo courtesy The Sow's Ear

Mark DeFoe is Professor Emeritus of English at West Virginia Wesleyan University in Buckhannon, where he teaches literature and writing.   Widely published in the U.S. and abroad, DeFoe has received awards from the West Virginia Commission pm the Arts and Chautauqua Literary Journal, which presented him with its national award for poetry in 2005.   He is a former Bread Loaf Scholar, participant in the Frost Place Poetry Seminar, judge in the West Virginia Poetry Out Loud competition, and editor of The Laurel Review.  His collection Ten Scenes with Mockingbird received the 2009 Tennessee Chapbook Award.   His witty and heartfelt poems range across the contemporary American landscape.

Judy Halebsky was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but now calls Falls Church home.   She moved to California to study at Mills College, eventually earning a PhD in Performing Arts from the University of California at Davis.   She has spent recent  years in Japan studying Japanese literature.   She is an accomplished calligraphic artist and has taught poetry, Japanese literature and Noh Theater.   An editor and translator for a bilingual poetry journal, she is the recipient of grants from the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, and the Canada Council for the Arts.   Her book Sky=Empty won the 2009 New Issues Poetry Prize.   The judge, poet Marvin Bell, praised the book’s “clarity of mind and expression,” and “the easy movement between the inner and outer” worlds.

Judy Halebsky was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and now lives in Falls Church. She earned a PhD in Performing Arts from the University of California at Davis - Photo courtesy The Sow's Ear

The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, a quarterly print journal of poetry and visual art in all media, has published continuously since its founding in 1988 in Southwest Virginia.   Its editor is Kristin Camitta Zimet of Winchester and Robert G. Lesman of Millwood is managing editor.   With a press run of 700, The Sow’s Ear is a well-regarded “little magazine” which aims at being, according to its website, “a beautiful, distinctive, cohesive venue linking poetry and kindred arts.”   It sponsors two poetry contests per year, a chapbook contest for a short collection of poems each spring and a contest honoring a single poem each fall.

The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review is available through subscription and is sold locally at the Winchester Book Gallery and at Locke Store in Millwood.   Website:   sows-ear.kitenet.net.

The Shenandoah Arts Council is a non-profit organization working to foster awareness and appreciation of our community’s diverse cultural heritage, showcase local artists and art organizations, and strengthen arts education in our community.   The Council’s motto is “Bringing the arts to the people and the people to the arts.”

The August 28 event will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the SAC gallery, 811 S. Loudoun St., Winchester.

Further information about the event is available from Robert Lesman at (540) 955-3955.