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Poetry Olio 2007
Annual Convention

The 11th Annual IRA Poetry Olio Extravaganza

Fairmont Royal York - Ballroom
Wednesday, May 16, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Presenter(s): Sara Holbrook; Allan Wolf; John Archambault; Karen Alexander; Nile Stanley; Lee Bennett Hopkins; Jane Yolen

Join us for a wonderful evening of verse presented by a variety of voices, old and new, from the world of children's poetry. The 11th Annual IRA Poetry Olio will showcase a line-up of featured presenters interspersed with open mic readings by members of the audience. This year we will also honor Lee Bennett Hopkins and Jane Yolen for their significant contributions to the world of young people's poetry. This year's Olio celebration will include poetry book giveaways, a cash bar, and a few surprises.

Those who have attended past Olios will notice a few new faces and a lot of new poetry. The event will be MCd by poets Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf. Olio founders and past co-chairs, Nile Stanley and Karen Alexander, will be presented with a special gift. All featured slots are determined in advance. A limited number of open-mic poets will be chosen randomly from a hat.

Sara Holbrook Allan Wolf Nile Stanley John Archambault
Photo of Karen Alexander  

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Poetry Olio

o-li-o Pronunciation: (O'LE-O) n., -pl. o-li-os.

  1. a dish of many ingredients.
  2. a medley of potpourri, as of musical or literary selections; miscellany.
    a. a specialty act performed downstage while the upstage set is changed.
    b. a performance, as a musical number, presented between scenes or acts.
    c. a variety of program acts, especially the second half of a minstrel show.

At the 1997 Annual Convention of the International Reading Association in Atlanta, Georgia I and poet Karen Alexander organized the first Poetry Olio, a celebration of children's poetry. The olio continues to grow in popularity as does the national poetry scene of open-mike nights at coffee houses and bookstores.

Now a tradition, the olio continues to do what it started - provide an open forum for the celebration of poetry. Poetry is best received when it is heard and experienced as performance. The olio brought together a variety of cross-cultural people passionate about poetry. From the accomplished, road weary performer, to the famous author, to the classroom teacher, the librarian, and the dabbling writer--all came for the love of poetry.

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