Poetpalooza 2012: A Tri-State Poetry Summit, will be held Friday through Sunday at the Village Lights Bookstore.

There will be hourly readings and signings by 16 poets from the region, including the two current and three former poets laureate of Indiana and Kentucky.

"We want to establish Madison as a center for the arts, literary arts included," Nathan Montoya, owner of Village Lights Bookstore said. "Life is about the arts, it is very important to us."

The Saturday readings will be hosted by Jack Ramey, a published poet and Madison resident. Sunday's readings will be hosted by Jill Kelly Koren, also a published poet and a native of Madison. There will be live music Friday evening with The Chestnuts, and all local or regional poets, or aspiring poets, published or unpublished, are invited to participate in the "open sign-up" community open mic session Saturday evening.

Special guests performing during the open mic session will be National Guard members from the National Guard Patriot Academy in Butlerville. The only one if it's kind in the country, the school is for people between the ages of 17 and 22 who have enlisted in the military, but do not have high school diplomas.

Each poet will take the floor at the top of an hour and continue for 30 to 50 minutes. After reading, each will move to the front of the shop to be available for signing while the next poet or group reads. Recent books by all participating poets will be available for purchase.

"This is a very impressive line up from three states," Montoya said. "This is a meeting of the minds in an effort to promote the arts in Madison."

Among the participants are:

• "The Airpoets" a group of four Indiana poets, Norbert Krapf, Joyce Brinkman, Joe Heithaus, and Ruthelen Burns, whose poems were chosen by the Writers' Center of Indiana to be integrated into British artist Martin Donlin's stained-glass window murals in the new Indianapolis International Airport. Together, they have produced a book, "Rivers, Rails and Runways," and a book of postcard poems, "Airmail from the Airpoets."

• Norbert Krapf, Indiana poet laureate from 2008 to 2010. His recent books include "Invisible Presence," "Bloodroot," "The Ripest Moments" and "Sweet Sister Moon."

"I have had many readings and signings for my books at Village Lights and I'm happy to come back to Madison," Krapf said. This event is an invaluable thing to do in the community, it's really a great thing to be a part of."

• Joyce Brinkman, Indiana poet laureate from 2002 to 2008, served as Indiana's first state poet laureate. She is a strong proponent of poetry as public art. Her book, "Tiempo Español", was written in Spain where she studied.

"Since I went to Hanover, it is always a pleasure being back in Madison. It has a warm spot in my heart," Brinkman said.

• Joe Heithaus is chair of the English department at DePauw University in Greencastle. His poems have appeared in "Poetry," the "North American Review" and the "Southern Review." His most recent book of poetry, "Poison Sonnets," won the 2007 Discovery-The Nation Prize.

"I've never been to Madison, but I know it from the artistic reproduction of Madison in the Children's Museum in Indianapolis," Heithas said. "It seems like a wonderful artistic little town and I am excited to see if for the first time. I hope a lot of the Madison citizens come out to Poetpalooza because it'll be a lot of fun."

• Ruthelen Burns, was born in Indianapolis. As a visual artist and poet, she has shown her work at Southern Methodist University, Herron School of Art, and the Indianapolis Art Center. She has done numerous readings and poetry events across Indiana, as well as readings at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC and the nation of El Salvador.

• Karen Kovacik, Indiana poet laureate since 2011, has received many honors, including the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum, the Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize, and a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Her recently published collections of poetry include, "Nixon and I," "Beyond the Velvet Curtain" and "Metropolis Burning."

"I had never been to Madison until December, when, as poet laureate, I visited schools around the state, including Madison Consolidated High School," Kovacik said. "I fell in love with the town. It's such a beautiful little town and I'm very excited to be back. I think Poetpalooza and events like it can give the community a sense of itself as an art magnet. Madison can become a meeting place of three states for people to share work and their love of literature."

• Maureen Morehead, Kentucky poet laureate since 2011, has had poems published in "America," "The American Poetry Review," "The American Voice," "The Black Warrior Review," "The California Quarterly," "The Greensboro Review," "The Iowa Review," "The Kansas Quarterly," "The Louisville Review," "The Southern Poetry Review," "Poet and Critic," "Poetry" and other literary journals. She has published four books of poetry: "In a Yellow Room," "Our Brothers' War," "A Sense of Time Left," and "A Melancholy Teacher."

• Richard Taylor, Kentucky poet laureate from 1999 to 2001, is a professor of English and currently serves as Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University. He is the author of six collections of poetry, two novels, and several books of non-fiction, mostly relating to Kentucky history. He has won two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Al Smith Creative Writing Award from the Kentucky Arts Council. His recently published books include "Earth Bones," "Rail Splitter: Sonnets on the Live of Abraham Lincoln," "Rare Bird" and "Fading into Bolivia."

"I have two children that went to Hanover College so I've visited Madison several times, but this will be my first time reading there," Taylor said. "I've always loved visiting Madison, it's a really lovely town and this provided me a great excuse to come back."

• Jonathan Greene, a Kentucky poet, book designer and publisher, graduated from Bard College. He is the author of over 30 books, including poetry, essays, and letters. More than 250 of his poems have appeared in 80 magazines and anthologies. His recently published books include "On the Banks of Monks Pond: The Thomas Merton/Jonathan Greene Correspondence," "Fault Lines," "Heart Matters" and "Distillations and Siphonings."

• Richard Hague, a poet and writer, was raised in Steubenville, Ohio. He was the 1982 Cincinnati Post-Corbett Award winner in literary arts. He was literary artist for the 1984 Kentucky Institute for Arts in Education at the University of Louisville. He was a Scholar in Creative Nonfiction at the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference and a Finalist in the Associated Writing Programs' Award in Creative Nonfiction. He is editor emeritus of "Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel," an annual anthology of contemporary Appalachian writing. His recently published books include "Garden," "The Time It Takes Light," "Burst, Poems, Quickly" and "Public Hearings."

 • Michael Henson, is a Cincinnati-based teacher, activist and writer. He is the author of "Ransack," a city novel, and "A Small Room with Trouble on My Mind," stories of the Ohio River Valley. He is a member of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative and writes a regular column on poverty and addiction for "StreetVibes," the newspaper of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless. He taught creative writing at Xavier University and continues to teach at Cincinnati State and Technical College. His recently published books of poetry include "Crow Call" and "The Tao of Longing & The Body Geographic."

• The "Reservoir Dogwoods" is a poetry and spoken-word quartet of poets based in Bloomington and Columbus. Jason Ammerman, Tony Brewer, Matthew D. Jackson, and Joseph Kerschbaum first toured together in spring 2009, bringing their poetry and live performance to both traditional and out-of-the-way venues all over Indiana.

• Jack Ramey, a resident of Madison, is a poet, performer, and professor of writing at Indiana University Southeast. In the 1980's he portrayed the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in his one-person show "Dark Is a Long Way: An Evening with Dylan Thomas." The show had successful runs in New York and Los Angeles. More recently he has performed Whitman's "Song of Myself" at the New York Public Library and the Walt Whitman Birthplace Museum on Long Island. His educational DVD, "William Blake: Imagination and Vision," won an Aegis award in 2005. He has published two books of poetry: "The Future Past" and "Death Sings in the Choir of Light."

• Jill Kelly Koren, a native of Madison, is a graduate of Yale University, where she won the McLaughlin writing prize for her essay on Itzhak Perlman. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Ivy Tech Community College. Her poems have appeared in "The Louisville Review," "Literary Mama," "Flowers and Vortexes," the poetry podcast "RedLion Sq.," and the anthology "Women. Period."

We have a lot of creative people in Madison," Koren said. "With the high caliber of poets that are coming to Poetpalooza there will be a great interchange betweens citizens of Madison and these traveled people sharing what they do in an exchange of ideas and work. I hope people come out to this historic event; there's never been anything like this before in Madison. People have this fear of poetry, fearing that they wont understand it, but these poems are rich yet accessible, so come out and experience it."