Join us for Kickstarter’s Summer of Poetry

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Photo by Lauren Renner
Photo by Lauren Renner

Take part in a season-long celebration featuring new poetry projects, live readings, and more.

Poetry, one of the world’s oldest art forms, is thriving online. With so many options for how to share work and engage with new audiences, it seems like there has never been a more exciting time to be a poet.

Kickstarter is a place that connects poets and poetry publishers with readers who care deeply about their work. Since 2009, more than five hundred poetry projects have come to life with the help of the readers and poetry lovers on Kickstarter. We’ve seen chapbooks like No Experiences, anthologies like Anchored in Deep Water, translations such as Then Come Back (the lost poems of Pablo Neruda), a live performance series from Button Poetry, and even a poetic tarot deck.

In June, we’re launching our first-ever Summer of Poetry, a season-long celebration featuring amazing new projects and poets for you to discover, poetry readings on Kickstarter Live, and events at our Brooklyn HQ. We want to spark conversations about what poetry is, who gets to write and publish it, how poetry sustains us, and how we can expand the world of poets and poetry.

Photo by Lauren Renner
Photo by Lauren Renner

“Poetry surprises and deepens our sense of the ordinary. Poetry tells us that the world is full of wonder, revelation, consolation, and meaning.” —Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate

We invite you to participate in these conversations with us by launching your own project sometime between June 1 and August 30. (Check out our video about how to raise funds and build community around your poetry project on Kickstarter.)

Learn more about Kickstarter’s Summer of Poetry here, and be sure to send your project links, treatises, explorations, readings, videos, events, raw material in all its rawness, and any other ways you are celebrating poetry to [email protected].

We can’t wait to hear your voice.

Ready to launch a project? Head here.

Summer of Poetry Kickstarter Live Readings Schedule

June 15th

Fran Wilde [2-3 PM Eastern Time]

With an MFA in poetry and a masters degree' in interaction design, Fran Wilde genre-hops between poetry, programming, and speculative fiction. Fran's poetry and fiction has appeared in Who Will Speak For America, Uncanny Magazine, The Marlboro Review, Poetry Baltimore, Tor.com and Nature Magazine, and has been a finalist for multiple Hugo and Nebula awards. She recently completed Clock Star Rose Spine, a new poetry collection.

June 22nd

Saul Williams, Neptune Frost [4-5 PM Eastern Time] 

Saul Williams is a musician, poet, and actor. He has released five books of poetry and five albums. He co-wrote and starred in his first feature Slam which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Camera D'Or at Cannes (1998). Saul's journals and archives are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. MartyrLoserKing, his first graphic novel, is slated for a 2019 release (:01 First Second Books).

June 29th

Elayna Mae Darcy, Unraveling Light [3-4 PM Eastern Time]

Elayna is a writer and filmmaker from Philadelphia, who spends her spare time professionally fangirling as a podcaster and former MuggleNet.com staff member. She also serves as a Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month, a November writing challenge that she has participated in since she was 14.

Ken Waldman, Trump Sonnets Vol. 3 [4-5 PM Eastern Time]

Ken Waldman combines original poetry, Appalachian-style string-band music, and Alaska-set storytelling for a performance uniquely his. He has ten books (including eight poetry collections), nine CDs, and has appeared at some of North America's leading performing arts centers, concert series, festivals, and colleges, including featured sets at the Dodge Poetry Festival and The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Grace Cavalieri of the Washington Independent Review of Books has called his series of poems about Donald Trump, "Funny and smart."

Tavern Books, The 40th Anniversary Reprint of Ai's Killing Floor [5-6 PM Eastern TIme]

Tomás Q. Morin and Natalie Diaz will be reading Ai’s groundbreaking poetry and talking about her lasting influence. Tavern Books exists to print, promote, and preserve works of literary vision, to foster a climate of cultural preservation, and to disseminate books in a way that benefits the reading public.

June 30th (Saturday)

Dis(s)ent: A Panel Discussion with 5 Women Writers [7-9 PM Eastern Time]

Dis(s)ent is a collection of poetry, prose and art that curates difficult knowledge around our post-truth, fake news moment. Co-editors George Elliott Clarke, Canada’s 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate, and award-winning writer, Sanita Fejzić, were motivated by the question: how do capitalism, consumerism and colonialism distort our perceptions of "reality" and confuse our relationships to each other—as citizens, as relatives, as participants in collectives, and/or as "free" individuals? This panel will feature five of the contributors to this collection.

July 13th

Saul Williams, Neptune Frost [6-7 PM Eastern Time]

Saul Williams is a musician, poet, and actor. He has released five books of poetry and five albums. He co-wrote and starred in his first feature Slam which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Camera D'Or at Cannes (1998). Saul's journals and archives are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. MartyrLoserKing, his first graphic novel, is slated for a 2019 release (:01 First Second Books).

July 20th

Mark Vigeant and Sam Reece, Leaves of Grass I Trimmed With My Mower [2-3 PM Eastern Time]

Leaves of Grass I Trimmed With My Mower is a collection of humorous Dad Poems kickstarted in 2015 by Mark Vigeant and Sam Reece. Mark is a technologically-inclined actor, writer, and comedian from New York City who loves Dads. Sam is comedy writer, actor, and dedicated cat mom based in Brooklyn, NY and to answer your question, yes she can sing!!!

Beth Krumholz, Marquee Poetry [5-6 PM Eastern Time]

Beth Krumholz is an artist and a poet on a mission to bring both into the world through unexpected and poignant outlets such as her Marquee Poetry initiative where she curates poems and puts them up on marquees in designated communities. She will be reading from her fascicle titled Lie Back as well as bits and pieces of more recent work. Her work has been published in the Library of Congress Anthology of Young Poets, ELK Zine, and the Bay Area Writer’s Journal.

July 27th

Radix Media, Aftermath [3-4 PM Eastern Time]

Join authors Jennifer L. Freed, Samara Golabuk, and Babo Kamel as they read poems from Radix Media's anthology, Aftermath: Explorations of Loss & Grief. Radix Media is a worker-owned, union print shop and publisher based in New York City.

Janelle Schmidt, Awaken the Wildness Within [4-5 PM Eastern Time]

Janelle Schmidt will read from her beautiful collection of poetry, prose, and raw photography that speaks to the wildness within every soul.

August 3rd

Uncanny Magazine [2-3 PM Eastern Time]

The Uncanny Magazine team brings us readings from a series of poets who have been featured in the magazine. 

Susie Magazine [12-1 PM Eastern Time]

Susie Magazine is an interdisciplinary magazine that is focused on amplifying voices of cis-women, transpeople, and non-binary folx. What started as a passion project between three friends and has now expanded to include creative communities from all over the world.

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