NPM@USF: Epic Finale

National Poetry Month at USF ends with leading poets in special events in various settings.


Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (April 22, 2013) – After drawing record crowds for the first three weeks of National Poetry Month, the USF Humanities Institute invites everyone to share in a final week of varied and exciting events – all free and open to the public.


Starting Monday, April 22, at 6 p.m., NPM@USF presents an evening of Poetry and the Visual Arts, bringing together writer/poet Terri Witek and new media artist Cyriaco Lopes, in the Marshall Student Center (MSC 4200). Their exciting collaborations have appeared in galleries or projects around the country including New York City and Los Angeles.


Witek has written five books, including “Exit Island,” “The Shipwreck Dress,” and “The Carnal World.” She holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing at Stetson University.


Lopes, a native of Brazil, has exhibited work at the Contemporary Art Museums in Baltimore and St. Louis, at El Museo and at Apexart in New York City. His work appears at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Brazil, as well as internationally. Lopes is a professor at John Jay College/CUNY in New York City.


On Wednesday, April 24, the Humanities Institute welcomes poet Stephen Kampa, who will read at 6 p.m. in Graphicstudio. His work has appeared in the Hopkins Review, Southwest Review, River Styx, Subtropics and Smartish Pace. His book, “Cracks in the Invisible,” won the 2012 Florida Book Award Gold Medal.


Friday, April 26, at 8 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre, College of the Arts (TAR 120), NPM@USF revisits the ancient roots of epic poetry in a performance of “An Iliad, an acclaimed re-imagination by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare of Homer’s great poem on the Trojan War.


Described by TimeOut - New York as “pure theater: shocking, glorious, primal and deeply satisfying,” the one-man play presents the saga in the voice of a lone poet, who moves between past and present to comment on the never-ending horror of war, as he laments: “Every time I sing this song, I hope it is the last time.”


While most productions cast the Poet as a grizzled war veteran, this new production, by Philadelphia-based #theaternow, and featuring 24-year-old Daniel J. Tobin, presents a much younger figure. Comments Tobin: “For me, it made sense to rethink the character as a young man. In ancient wars, as today across the world, many soldiers my age have seen years of battle.”


Tobin, a Tampa native, was a directing/producing intern at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J. where he worked with Emily Mann, Sam Buntrock, and Nilo Cruz. Entry is free; seats may be reserved by emailing: For a short preview, visit: A reception will follow the performance.


NPM@USF ends the month on Saturday, April 27, with a reading by poets Kimberly Johnson and Jay Hopler. Johnson teaches at Brigham Young University, while Hopler teaches in the English Department at USF.


Johnson has written two poetry collections, “Leviathan with a Hook” and “A Metaphorical God,” and a translation of Virgil’s “Georgics.” Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Slate, The Iowa Review and Modern Philology. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Arts Council, and the Mellon Foundation.


Hopler’s work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker and Slate. He has received numerous awards, including a 2006 Florida Book Award, a 2006 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award and a 2007 National “Best Books” Award, as well as the prestigious Rome Fellowship in Literature, from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy in Rome. The reading will be at BookStore1, Sarasota, 1359 Main Street; for more information call (941) 365-7900.  


For more information about NPM@USF, email or call Liz Kicak:; 813-974-3657.