“Genius Loci: A Sense of Place in Story, Music, & Poetry”

October 9, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hermitage Artist Retreat Beach
6660 Manasota Key Road
FL 34223
"Genius Loci: A Sense of Place in Story, Music, & Poetry" @ Hermitage Artist Retreat Beach


The Hermitage Artist Retreat announces the return of its popular beachfront series with “Genius Loci: A Sense of Place in Story, Music, & Poetry,” Friday, October 9, 6 p.m., at the Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood.

This outdoor event features three Hermitage artists-in-residence: composer and bassist Michael Kurth, poet Lynnell Edwards, and author Justin Torres. In Edwards’ book of poetry This Great Green Valley and Torres’ book and film We the Animals, each captures the sense of place of their childhoods. Composer and bassist Michael Kurth, meanwhile, defines his place as the bottom staff of an orchestral score. The artistic realms include music, film, and the spoken and written word. In every realm, each artist has created a place of their own. As the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico, Edwards and Torres will read from their celebrated works, and Kurth will delight audiences with his string bass and bass ukulele.

Admission is free but registration is required. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. Capacity will be limited to accommodate safe social distancing, so early reservations are recommended. Masks are strongly encouraged.

Lynnell Edwards is author of author of several poetry collections, including This Great Green Valley, Covet, The Highwayman’s Wife, The Farmer’s Daughter, and the Kings of the Rock Hot Shop. Her work has appeared in New MadridConnecticut Review, Cincinnati Review, and Pleiades, and her poems have been featured on Verse Daily. She is an associate professor of English at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Edwards is a founding member of Louisville Literary Arts and serves on the Kentucky Women Writers Conference Board. A recipient of the Al Smith Fellowship, Edwards holds a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition and a master’s degree in creative writing, both from the University of Louisville.

Michael Kurth was born in Virginia and grew up near Baltimore. After starting to play double bass in fourth grade he went on to get his bachelor’s degree at Peabody Conservatory. Kurth has been a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra bass section since 1994. He was named “Best New Composer 2017” by Atlanta Magazine. The Atlanta Orchestra has given world premieres and released an album of many of his orchestral and choral works. In addition, his works have been commissioned and performed by symphonies, choruses, ensembles, instrumentalists, and colleges. He serves as Composer-in-Residence for the Riverside Chamber Players of Roswell, GA., which has premiered many of his chamber works and recorded “The Music of Michael Kurth: String Quartets.” He teaches at Emory University.

Justin Torres has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, and other publications, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Justin’s New York Times bestselling novel We the Animals has been translated into 15 languages and was recently adapted into a film. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library. The National Book Foundation named him one of the 2012’s “5 under 35.” He was the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. He lives in Los Angeles where he is an assistant professor of English at UCLA.