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Poets to present fairytale reading

March 31, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Members of a Western Michigan University seminar focusing on folktales will read original poems and works by well-known poets during a gathering at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 6, in Kazoo Books II, 2413 Parkview Ave. in Kalamazoo.

The event, "Once Upon a Time: Fairytale Poems," is free and open to the public. Following the gathering, attendees are invited to a gala Fairytale Tea and book signing for "Rapunzel's Hair," the latest book by Judith Rypma, a master faculty specialist in English and the instructor for the seminar on "Studies in Children's Literature and Folklore and Tales in Children's Literature."

Rypma will read from "Rapunzel's Hair," which turns traditional fairytales upside down by returning them to their origins as adult entertainment, while graduate students Cheryl Braford, Alison Laurell, Megan Burnley and Eileen Wiedbrauk will read some of the poems that they have penned.

Other students from the seminar course will read poems by authors such as Anne Sexton, Carol Duffy, Glyn Maxwell, Lisel Mueller and Julia Alvarez.

"We've been studying traditional and contemporary retellings of tales from oral tradition, and it seemed a natural culmination to share our folkloric experiences and inspiration with the campus and local communities," Rypma says.

"I have some supremely talented students--both graduates and undergraduates--who have created their own poems in response to our seminar experience. Others have sought out newly discovered favorite poets whose work has explored the territory of oral tradition."

For more information, contact Rypma at rypmaj@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2628 or contact Kazoo Books at (269) 553-6506.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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