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April is National Poetry Month! While you celebrate by twisting exciting new lines of poetry out of ordinary words and by dreaming up your most inventive metaphors yet, you can also take part in new opportunities to share your poems with others or sharpen your skills. Each year there are countless workshops and festivals across the country which serve as platforms to connect with other poets, share your work with a bright and encouraging community, listen to imaginative readings, and get motivated to write. If you missed one this year, be sure to put it on your calendar for 2019!
Writer’s Relief’s List Of The Best Poetry Workshops And Festivals
National Poetry Month: Poetry Workshops at the New York Public Library–April 1-May 12, 2018
The historic New York Public Library is hosting numerous classes and workshops to commemorate National Poetry Month. There are classes available for every age group, including dedicated workshops to teach children the art of poetry. Bill Zavatsky, a poet celebrated in the New York City area, is sharing his knowledge with writers by hosting his own workshops throughout the month.
Sarah Lawrence College Poetry Festival–April 20-22, 2018
Are you a student looking to showcase your work with other emerging writers? The Sarah Lawrence College Poetry Festival could be the perfect venue for you. Located in Westchester County, New York, this festival brings together undergraduate and graduate students with established poets for three days of panels, book signings, open mics, and more to celebrate poetry as an art form.
The Philadelphia Poetry Festival–April 22, 2018
The Philadelphia Poetry Festival brings poetry organizations, magazines, and series together under one roof. It features a book fair where writers can promote and autograph their work, as well as increase the circulation of their writing.
The Allen Ginsberg Symposium–May 3-5, 2018
The Allen Ginsberg Symposium is a three-day event created by The Poetry Project, a nationally recognized organization known for inspiring the creation and foundation of modern poetry. During the symposium, writers can attend multiple workshops that address the different aspects of poetry, from the technical to the spiritual.
The Massachusetts Poetry Festival–May 4-6, 2018
The Massachusetts Poetry Festival transforms downtown Salem into a hub for contemporary poets with the spirit of Massachusetts in their work. In addition to readings and panels, the festival encourages expression through poetry slams, visual art, and open-air performances.
The New York City Poetry Festival–July 28-29, 2018
The New York City Poetry Festival brings poets and poetry fans together for two days of grand celebration. Countless poetry organizations unite on Governors Island to feature over 250 poets across five stages—all free of charge. In addition to poetry, the festival urges visitors to bring their sunscreen and blankets to stretch out and enjoy the beauty of summer and share ideas about literature with one another.
WORDFEST–October 5-7, 2018
WORDFEST is a special event that is part of the larger Waco Cultural Arts Fest in the heart of Texas. WORDFEST specifically features poetry in its spoken form. Writers and poetry lovers experience how words can come to life through readings, panels, open mics, spoken word, and more!
The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival–October 18-21, 2018
The Dodge Poetry Festival is the largest poetry event in the United States and brings together some of the most talented voices in modern literature. Set in Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, this four-day event includes stimulating groups and discussions, readings from both well-known poets and emerging voices, one-of-a-kind collaborations, and more.
These are just some of the many wonderful poetry festivals and conferences available for poets. If you’d like a comprehensive, easy-to-search listing of conferences, residencies, and open calls for submissions, check out our Writers Classifieds!
Question: What is your favorite part of attending a poetry workshop or festival?