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Released November 11, 2003


HATTIESBURG - Mississippi Review's new issue, Poets of the New York School, guest-edited by award-winning poet Dr. Angela Ball, chair of English at The University of Southern Mississippi and member of the Southern Miss Center for Writers, will be launched on Nov. 17 as part of the famed KGB Poetry Night Reading Series in New York City.

The reading will feature Ball, Star Black, Elaine Equi, David Lehman, Robert Polito, David Shapiro, Tony Towle, Paul Violi, and Charles North - all poets included in the new Mississippi Review. Copies of the issue will be available for sale at the reading.

"The unlikely marriage of Mississippi and New York has been very exciting," Ball said of the new issue. "Poetry defies geography. Thanks to contributing editor David Lehman and the other wonderful writers involved, we have linked the spirit of innovation the Review has always had with the ever-fresh voice of New York poetry."

The Mississippi Review, one of the nation's premier literary journals, has been edited by Center for Writers director Frederick Barthelme since 1977.

Six and a half years ago, acclaimed poets Star Black and David Lehman conceived of the reading series and convinced Denis Woychuk, KGB Bar owner, to give them the Monday night slot. "KGB Bar itself has such an eclectic atmosphere and history, we wanted to match that with a mix of poets spanning a vast range of contemporary voices," Lehman said. "In more than 200 readings since February 1997, we have hosted more than 500 poets, including some of the nation's foremost bards: John Ashbery, Robert Bly, Donald Hall, Richard Howard, Carolyn Kizer, Philip Levine, Sharon Olds, Charles Simic, Mark Strand, James Tate, Charles Wright, C.K. Williams, and Molly Peacock."

The magazines New York and Time Out routinely rate KGB Bar the "best poetry venue" in New York, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes that "the series named . . . as the best is a simple, no-frills affair, packed with a standing-room-only crowd intent on [hearing] the most famous poets in America mixed with the up-and-comers."

A former single-room speakeasy (a Lucky Luciano favorite) KGB Bar was turned into a Ukranian socialist social club in 1948. To this day, KGB Bar retains the original decoration of its former incarnations, complete with tin ceiling and stained glass Beaux Arts cabinetry, red walls, Soviet triumph posters, photographs, paintings, and sculptures. A red hammer and sickle flag even hangs from the ceiling.

KGB Bar is located at 85 East 4th Street in New York's East Village, near the intersection of 4th Street and 2nd Avenue. (212 505-3360). The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. There is no cover charge for admission.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM