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Poet laureate to speak Saturday

Literary aficionados will get the chance to hear from Virginia’s poet laureate at a special event in Suffolk this weekend.

Tim Seibles will speak at the event beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Suffolk Art Gallery, 118 Bosley Ave. The free event is presented by the Suffolk Art League in cooperation with the gallery.

“It’s going to be delightful,” said Linda Bunch, executive director of the Suffolk Art League. “He’s a very thought-provoking writer who is inspiring young writers at Old Dominion.”

Seibles joined the English faculty at Old Dominion University in 1995, according to the Old Dominion University website. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s degree and taught high school English for 10 years before receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, when it was part of Norwich University.

Seibles was appointed poet laureate by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2016. His term lasts for two years.

He has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and received an Open Voice Award from the National Writers Voice Project.

“His personality just radiates,” Bunch said. “He is a very inspiring man and is always entertaining, and we are just delighted to have him here for an evening.”

Bunch said Seibles will read some of his works as well as discuss his process and inspirations.

The event is a move to include more literary art in the forms of art displayed and promoted by the art league and the gallery, Bunch said.

“We of course do the quarterly Poetry, Prose and Pizza nights with Nathan Richardson [another local poet] and have tried to expand our literary offerings over the years,” Bunch said.

Reservations are requested but not required. The event will include light refreshments and a cash bar.

“It is a free and open to the public event,” Bunch said. “The more, the merrier.”