My first stop was a noontime open mic for Salem, MA, writers, in which I participated.
We had about 16 readers, all of us reading no more than four minutes. It made for a healthy crowd with a great variety of topics and styles.
Poet and Cave Canem fellow Jarita Davis read at the Cape Cod Writers reading.
Poet J.D. Scrimgeour and musician/composer Philip Swanson performed their collaboration called Confluence: Where Words and Music Meet at The Revolving Museum (probably the coolest venue of the festival).
Later, after a meet-and-great session with organizers and participants, the featured poets read to a packed crowd.
(Former Poet U.S. Laureate Robert Pinsky)
Lucie Brock-Broido, Martín Espada, and Robert Pinksy reminded us all about the great literary traditions we have established here in Massachusetts, from Jack Kerouac to Elizabeth Bishop.
It’s also worth noting that was my first time in Lowell, MA, a city once a thriving mill town. After much revitalization, the city is using all of that mill space to create a dynamic place for families as well as artists and the creative community.
Well, all I can say is that the “creative economy” of Massachusetts got a boost with this festival. And I am optimistic about the 2009 festival and the outreach and events leading up to next year’s event.