Saturday, June 27, 2015

Amherst Poetry Festival: Call for Proposals

The Third Annual Amherst Poetry Festival, co-sponsored by the Emily Dickinson Museum and the Amherst Business Improvement District, “takes poetry off the shelf and puts it into the streets, parks, shops, and
intersections of a town where literary history and contemporary creativity live side by side.”

This year it will take place October 1-4 at the Museum and other sites in Amherst. The festival is seeking poets, musicians, visual artists, educators and collaborators to participate. Literary presses and organization may host a booth at Booksellers’ Row. Deadline for proposals: July 1.

If last year’s is any measure, the Third Annual Festival should be a hoot and a half. The 2014 Festival included an Emily Dickinson Marathon in which all 1,789 of her poems were read in the home where she wrote them. Seventy-five poets read their own work and there were workshops on ekphrastic poetry and poetry zine, led by poet Karen Skolfield.

In a tent sponsored by the UMass Amherst Masters Program for Poets and Writers and its director, poet Dara Wier, there were Emily Dickinson-themed tarot card readings with a special deck created by Wier and local artists. Erotic poetry was presented at The Monkey Bar in Amherst and “Doughnuts and Death: A Baker’s Dozen of Emily Dickinson’s Most Depressing Poems,” was held in the West Cemetery where she is buried.

I, for one, can’t wait to see what they do to top all that this year! As soon as the program is announced, I’ll post it here.

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