The tide has turned and winter has finally released us from its icy grasp. Spring has arrived, and as the April showers fall, our thoughts turn to all the radiant life that will burst from that nourishing rain. While the bright sun of July and the caldron of summer may seem still a lifetime away, we are thinking of green, green grass, the wide flat leaves of the London Plane trees, and the sound of hundreds of poets buzzing about The New York City Poetry Festival.
Already heading into its fourth year, The Festival has become a fixture in the cultural calendar of this great city. Poets from all five boroughs and beyond have grown accustomed to looking for this event to punctuate the apex of their summers in the city. This year we will welcome back more than 50 New York City poetry groups, including venerable institutions, upstarts, small presses, local reading series, literary journals, high school poetry teams, and more to The Festival’s three stages. If year’s past are any indication, over 250 poets will present and wow those gathered with their moment at the mic. And we've already booked some incredible headliners (!), including Paul Muldoon, Mark Doty, Matthea Harvey, and Joyelle McSweeney.
This year also welcomes back our Vendors Village packed with local artisans, literary journals, and small presses, selling books and wears, as well as The Festival’s Ring of Daisies Open-Mic, which is often the hottest mic on Governor’s Island. And The Children’s Poetry Festival, heading into its third year, will give our youngest festival attendees a chance to encounter the magic that brought us all to poetry in the first place.
As always, the purpose of this festival has been to liberate poets and their work from the dark corners of bars, bookstores, and coffee shops and their halogen-lit college campuses, and to bring together as many NYC poets as possible, in the bright light of day, to meet, mingle, and collaborate. Fostering an open, accessible, diverse, innovative, fun, and culturally prominent literary community lies at the core of The Poetry Society of New York's mission. While there are still a few entrenched poetry establishments, for many writers and artists, and even the general public, they can seem remote and inaccessible; The Poetry Society of New York aims not only to bridge these gaps, but to unify this city's poetry community in ways never before thought possible.
The New York City Poetry Festival has been honored to present such award-winning writers as Mark Strand, Yusef Komunyakaa, Patricia Smith, Dorothea Lasky, and Cornelius Eady, but more importantly the festival has given poets and poetry lovers from all five boroughs and beyond an opportunity to hear, appreciate, and interact with poets whom they might never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. The festival has also presented over 50 artists of other mediums through installation, music and performance. By reaching outside the established poetry communities, The Poetry Society of New York hopes to create new audiences for poetry and facilitate collaborations between poets and other artists. Similarly, by reaching out to colleges, high schools, and grade schools, the festival hopes to encourage, educate, and inspire fledgling writers of all ages to become a part of New York’s diverse and dynamic poetry scene.
This year's festival planning is already going strong, and we will make announcements here over the next few weeks. So, donate today to stay up-to-date on the lineup and other featured activities! Thank you so much for supporting The Poetry Society of New York in its production of the fourth annual New York City Poetry Festival on Governors Island. Residents can take great pride and deep pleasure in this gathering—the largest, most participatory poetry festival in the world—which belongs to New York City. And visitors can experience a living, breathing poetry community for themselves. With your help the festival will flourish in 2014 and continue to grow in size, quality, and acclaim in the years to come.
Risks and challenges
As with any great endeavor, there are always potential risks and challenges that one might have to overcome. As the organizers of a two-day outdoor festival, our biggest fear is always the weather. Should we be hit with rain on the planned dates, we will get wet... but with a decent happiness.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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