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Saturday program at Vachel Lindsay Home to feature 'The Importance of Reading Unknown Poets'

Part of National Poetry Month observance

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[April 16, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- In honor of National Poetry Month, Ethan Lewis, professor of English at the University of Illinois at Springfield, will discuss his new book on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Vachel Lindsay Home, 603 S. Fifth St. in Springfield. The book is entitled "The Importance of Reading Unknown Poets in Relation to Those Who Are Known: The Achievement of the Sangamon Poets."

Lewis' critical anthology features 14 relatively unknown Illinois poets, examining their impact on one another and their importance in establishing a context for understanding the work of more noted poets. The importance of reading poets in relation to one another for the study of literary history is emphasized in the interpretations of the poets included.

Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein said, "This book is ambitious because it serves as thematic, analytic and aesthetic introduction to a loose confederation of poets bound as much by geography as by aesthetics -- poets of whom many readers have read too little or perhaps none at all."

Some of the poets in the collection will be present at the program.

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Lewis teaches Shakespeare and modern British poetry. He received his Ph.D. from Boston University, and in 2007 he received the Pearson Award for excellence in teaching at UIS.

Light refreshments will follow the program.

This latest in the "Poets in the Parlor" series is sponsored by the Vachel Lindsay Association and the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site.

The Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is the birthplace and longtime residence of poet, author and artist Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, 1879-1931. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. for free public tours.

[Text from Illinois Historic Preservation Agency news release received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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