2018 PoetryLife

PoetryLife brings together nationally-recognized poets, students, teachers, and community members all in one place to celebrate poetry. Tickets can be purchased by calling the FST Box Office at (941) 366-9000 or by clicking the events below.

Schedule of Events

PoetryLife presents Coffee, Conversation & Lunch: The Poetry of Activism
Monday, February 19th at 11:00AM
Florida Studio Theatre, Court Cabaret

This thought-provoking conversation is especially relevant at this point in our nation’s history. Many of us thought the difficult issues of immigration, underpinned with fairness for the immigrant population, were about to be solved. But those expectations now seem further away than they have been for decades.

Our two featured poets, Juan Felipe Herrera and Ocean Vuong, are uniquely qualified to speak about how poetry can come to bear on this important topic.

Tickets are $35 and include coffee during the conversation and lunch immediately afterwards. Order your tickets online via poetrylife.org by calling the FST box office at 941-366-9000. Tickets available beginning December 2017.


PoetryLife presents Live on Stage: Juan Felipe Herrera and Ocean Vuong
Monday, February 19th at 7:00PM
Florida Studio Theatre, Court Cabaret

This is your opportunity to hear the poetry of two of America’s finest poets. One, Herrera, is a seasoned poet of activism. The other, Vuong, is a rising star, whose voice has become an important addition to the world of poetry.

Tickets are $35. Order your tickets online via poetrylife.org, or by calling the FST box office at 941-366-9000. Tickets available beginning December 2017.

Juan Felipe Herrera Juan Felipe Herrera was the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States serving from 2015-2017 and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. His many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

Ocean Vuong Ocean Vuong is a recognized rising star in the poetry world. He is the author of Night Sky With Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), winner of the 2016 Whiting Award. Vuong also has two chapbooks: No (YesYes, 2013) and Burnings (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010). A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, Ocean has received honors and awards from Poets House, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and a Pushcart Prize.