Baylor University's Beall Poetry Festival is an annual three-day celebration of some of the finest contemporary poets, with readings, a panel discussion, and the Virginia Beall Ball Lecture on Contemporary Poetry.
The festival is supported by the John A. and DeLouise McClelland Beall Endowed Fund, which was established in 1994 by Mrs. Virginia Beall Ball of Muncie, Ind., to honor her parents and to encourage the writing and appreciation of poetry.
Poetry has a long and illustrious history at Baylor. Under the direction of Baylor professor A. J. Armstrong, poets such as Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and William Butler Yeats visited Baylor to read their poems. Previous Beall Poetry Festival participants have included winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as several U.S. poet laureates.
A 1940 graduate of Baylor, Mrs. Ball studied English under Prof. Armstrong. With her husband, Ed Ball, and on her own, Mrs. Ball was a generous philanthropist, supporting programs at Baylor, Ball State University, and a variety of other organizations. She died in 2003.