2020 West End Poetry Festival Press Release

2020 Poetry Festival Press Release

West End Poetry Festival To Be Held Virtually on October 16-17


Carrboro’s West End Poetry Festival, on the theme “Poetry for a Change”, will take place October 16 and 17, 2020.   As always, there will be readings by nationally known and locally famous poets, a workshop, and an open mic. But this year, for the first time, the program includes the writing and performance of a community poem. The entire event will be virtual, with some live, and some recorded elements, via Zoom and YouTube. For more information, please consult the Festival website, www.westendpoetryfestival.org.

The festival is organized by the Carrboro Poets Council, with the assistance of Ralph Earle, Paul Jones, and the staff of the Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources. It is funded by the Carrboro Tourism Development Authority. The Council’s members are local poets Abigail Browning, Maura High, Susan Spalt, Gideon Young, and former poet laureates Jay Bryan and Gary Phillips, led by Carrboro’s current poet laureate, Fred Joiner. Fred Joiner says, “Poetry can play a vital role in keeping our community vibrant.” This Festival is the town’s chief way to achieve that goal.

On Friday, October 16, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the Chapel Hill poet laureate and nationally known spoken-word poet, CJ Suitt, will hold an interactive Zoom workshop on “The Sound of my Voice: Poetry and the Power of Performance.” If viewers haven’t heard and seen CJ perform his poetry, they are in for an amazing and powerful experience.

On Saturday, October 17, at 12:00 p.m., the Council will sponsor a virtual, asynchronous prerecorded open mic via YouTube. People interested in participating should complete an application that can be found on the Festival website. The preferred deadline for the application is October 9. Recorded videos of poems will be accepted by October 14. A video of Paul Jones reading his poem is provided along with written instructions.

Also on Saturday, October 17, rom 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. featured well-known poets,   Michael Glaser, Rachal Hadas, Destiny Hemphill, Fred Joiner, John Murillo and CJ Suitt. will each read for fifteen minutes by YouTube and Zoom. For more information about these poets, please go to the website.

To contribute a line or two to the community poem, visit the website before October 9 to ensure you will be included.  The poem will be appear on the website and be read aloud at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Zoom links to the performances will be available on the Council’s website at the time of the event.