As with the Dodge Poetry Festival, Jarita Davis and I are together again attending the first-ever Massachusetts Poetry Festival.
Since this festival is in its infancy, organizers are hoping for a good turnout. It's an interesting contrast to Dodge, known an established poetry venue that poets and poetry lovers attend regularly. The organizers hope that the same kind of following with develop over time. Turnout should be good today; the weather in Lowell, MA, should be a comfortable 70 degrees, and, unlike Dodge, no rain.
Last night, we attended the main event, hosted by poet Charles Coe, with featured readings by poets Rhina Espaillat, Reggie Gibson, and Nick Flynn. And later, we went to an open mic hosted by poet Tim Gager. Excellent performances by all. It was too dark in the venues to take pictures, but I'll post pictures from today's sessions and events.
The birth of a new festival--this is a very exciting thing to witness. I believe all of the poets are living in or connected to Massachusetts, which is a nice touch, too. Can't even imagine what it takes to organize a large-scare poetry event from the ground up. If there's anything I can to do help (like shamelessly spread the word), I'll do what I can because any group willing to champion a poetry event during dismal economic times is an event worth supporting.
Poetry is EXACTLY what we need need right now. (Well, that and an economic bailout plan that works!)
I will be reading later today during an open mic, as will Jarita at an afternoon venue. But I will be around all day, camera in hand, enjoying the best poetry the state has to offer.