“I share with the painters the desire,” wrote poet Nikki Giovanni, “to put a three-dimensional picture on a one-dimensional surface.”

Giovanni will help bring poetry alive in all its dimensions on April 17, at the 13th annual celebration of the Steger Poetry Prize. This year, for the first time, the event will take place in the Cube, a four-story experimental performance space in the Moss Arts Center.

Giovanni, the University Distinguished Professor of English, established the poetry competition for Virginia Tech undergraduates and named it for its first benefactor, Charles W. Steger, the university’s president at the time.

Last year, Steger turned the tables on the renowned poet when he and the organizers declared the event the annual “Nikki Giovanni Celebration of Poetry.”

The Steger Poetry Prize competition, one of the most prestigious undergraduate literary competitions in the country, is held every April during National Poetry Month.

This year a dozen students from five of the university’s colleges have been named finalists. They will be reading their winning entries interspersed with readings of poems chosen by Department of English faculty members and invited guests. Prizes for first, second, and third place will be awarded immediately following the readings; an announcement about all the finalists will follow in Virginia Tech News.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. at the Moss Arts Center (190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg), followed by a reception. All are welcome.

Written by Paula Byron