Saturday, August 4, 2012

Poetry Festival 2012: The Movie


Below is the video I recently made using photos from this year's Poetry Festival: A Celebration of Literary Journals, an event that took place on May 20. This was the 9th year I've run the festival. Each year I invite the editors of 12 journals to participate. Each journal gets half a table where the editor displays the most recent issue along with submission and subscription information. This part of the festival takes place in the Reference area.

I also ask each editor to invite two poets who have appeared in the journal. So we end up with 24 poets, each of whom reads two poems. The readings take place in a separate area, the Community Room, which seats approximately 80 people and remains close to full throughout the readings.

The readings are divided into 4 sessions, each including 3 journals and 6 poets. In between readings there's a 20-minute break which gives visitors time to browse the journals and chat with the editors. Poets are invited to bring copies of one book to offer for sale in the book sale area at the front of the library, so visitors also use the break time to browse and buy those books and get them signed.

This event draws 200-250 people. Some come for part of the day. Others remain for the entire 4 hours. People meet for lunch before the Festival. People go out for dinner after the Festival. It really is a very festive event, a day filled with poems, poetry chatter, journals, and books.

This event takes place at the West Caldwell Public Library in West Caldwell, NJ, and is assisted by librarian, Ethan Galvin. He arranges for the Friends of the Library to provide volunteers to man the book sale table. He also runs off the program which is given to each visitor. And he sends out press releases. The local Shop-Rite donates cookies. Needless to say, the assistance Ethan and the volunteers provide is invaluable and deeply appreciated.

If you're nearby, plan to join us for next year's 10th anniversary Festival. In the meantime, please enjoy the movie.

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