WAVERLY - Internationally renowned poet and masterclass leader, Craig Czury, returns to Waverly to present a life writing masterclass and poetry reading this Saturday.

The masterclass will be held from noon-2 p.m., followed by the poetry reading from 3-4 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public, hosted by and held at the Waverly Free Library, 18 Elizabeth St., Waverly.

"I am excited to be returning to Waverly," Czury said, noting that he loves helping people coordinate a way to support one another in the continuation of their art. "The support of other writers is necessary to keep the quality of your writing up, but it's also great when you are going through something tough, whether it's something within you, or something out there in the world."

"Craig's workshops and readings have been very popular, and very informative," said Library Director Chris Brewster. "We're always pleased to offer programs like this, that can inspire and educate our patrons and visitors."

Having studied with some of the top poets on the national and international scene in his youth, Czury has been publishing books of poetry for more than 40 years. He has also taught for over three decades, teaching and making public poetry happen in often-overlooked venues like prisons, homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers and mental hospitals, in addition to schools and universities.

"Poetry is not a spectator sport," Czury is famous for saying, and both his poetry and masterclasses prove it. He coaxes out of people words that come from places that only they know - their own personal experiences, their own inheritances of culture and family environment, their own secret spaces. Czury's own poetry is multi-faceted, dark and dug up from way down deep, coming as it does from his early years growing up in the declining anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania's Northeast. "I write from my abandoned spaces, my broken windows, my dying towns, my way of knowing that something is lost," he says.

Czury did not stay in the coal region, but hitchhiked across the U.S. for 15 years, and later traveled across the globe as a featured poet at international poetry festivals. He is also an editor, publisher, and tireless arts advocate, and the author of more than 20 books of poetry. He currently lives and works part time in his native Pennsylvania and part time teaching in schools across Europe.

His new book, a traveling collection of prose poems, was written in both Italy and Pennsylvania, as well as in Chile and Lithuania. It was released last year by New York Quarterly Books, titled "Fifteen Stones." The poetry reading will feature selections from this book, as well as from Craig's upcoming book, written in Albania and Lithuania.

Both the life writing masterclass and the poetry reading that follows are free and open to the public.

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information and to reserve your seat for one or both of these events, contact the library directly at (607) 565-9341.

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