NYC Poetry Fest 2012

27 Jul

So I know I still have to write up the second installment of my Cleveland vacation post, but I first wanted to comment on a really great event I attended last weekend – the second annual NYC Poetry Festival, thrown by the good people at The Poetry Society of New York.  It was a two day fest of visiting and resident poets, literary vendors, bit of food, bit of silliness, and a lot of awesome people.  Sadly I did not have my camera on hand, but I’ll relate what I can.  They held it on Governor’s Island, downtown Manhattan’s favorite ferry-ride weekend retreat.  I thought this was the perfect environment for honoring poetry – a green oasis at the end of a (admittedly short) watery voyage.  The fest itself was casual and low-key as such things go, which was good, as it enabled a nice mix of all-day activity without the exhaustion of over-stimulation.  I went on Sunday, a perfect summer afternoon, meandering from stage to stage, a poet here, a poet there, chatting with small press people and up-and-coming wordsmiths, laying out on the grass as words and the breeze swept over me.

The shindig was laid out in a sort of triangle, with three small stages at each corner.  The quality of the readings was very high, and there were several poets that I became quickly enamored with.  Some highlights for me were Michael Alpiner, Jenny Xie, Ronaldo Wilson, David Lawton, Dorothea Lasky and Timothy Donnelly.  I chatted with some fine people at Brooklyn Arts Press about the challenges of small publishing and the range of new talent, and picked up an anthology from poet Jane Ormerod‘s newly managed press, Uphook.  All in all, it was a splendid day celebrating language and art and the people who keep it all going.  Definitely hope to go again next year.

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