Those averse to the looming war with Iraq will have the chance to voice their opposition in verse.

The local Poets Against the War chapter is staging an anti-war poetry reading at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in the Shenandoah Room of the West Virginia University Mountainlair.

“We wish to provide an open forum for students and community members to share the message of peace through poetry,”said Sarah Whitney Holmes, a WVU student and head of the local chapter.”We encourage like-minded individuals, whether they are poets or not, to come out and support the anti-war cause.”

Poets Against the War is a national organization that provides a venue for poets to use their talents to speak out against the Bush administrations plans to disarm Iraq through a unilateral, pre-emptive military attack. The group publishes poetry on its Web site, promotes public readings and supports the production of a documentary chronicling the movement.

The organization grew out of a letter that Sam Hamill, poet and founding editor of Copper Canyon Press, sent Jan. 28 to a few friends and colleagues. In the letter, Hamill suggested organizing a Poets Against the War movement similar to one organized during the Vietnam War. Word spread and support grew in poets corners across the land. Some 12,997 poems have been published on the organizations Web site to date.

For more information, visit the Poets Against the War Web site at