This weekend, I attended the Austin International Poetry Festival (AIPF) here in my hometown of Austin, Texas. I am proud that my city hosts this annual event, proud that our festival draws poets from all over the world, proud (this year) to have a poem in the beautiful anthology.
During the four-day festival, I participated in three poetry readings (and attended three more), took excellent workshops taught by David Meischen, Scott Wiggerman, Cindy Huyser, Faylita Hicks, and Robert Lee Brewer, and talked with dozens of amazing poets. Unfortunately, I don’t have contact information for all of them, but here are a few you should follow/read/like/fall in love with: Rie Sheridan Rose, Mike Whalen, Joe Brundidge, Liza Wolff-Francis, Allyson Whipple, Patrick Connors, and Shubh Bala Schiesser.
Highlights of the festival included:
The eighth graders from the Texas Schools for the Deaf & Visually Impaired
These students got up on stage at Strange Brew with confidence and humor and voices that stuck with me long after their reading was over. Their performance rivaled those of the professionals.
My poetry reading at Strange Brew on Saturday
I’ve read before, but never more than three poems at a large group reading. This was my first time to have ten whole minutes to share my work with an audience, and I really enjoyed myself up there. It was also a pleasure to share the stage with Chip Ross, Ben Beach, Wade Martin, Ginnie Siena Bivona, Dustin Pickering, Pat Connors, and… the gentleman in the bottom left picture whose name I forgot to write down. He is a great poet! Someone please help and tell me his identity!
The Nerd Read at Austin Books & Comics
Because it was awesome.
It’s not possible to do everything at AIPF, and I know that I missed a lot of poetry and a lot of magic, so if you were also lucky enough to be a part of the fun this weekend, please share your favorite moments in the comments below.
On a different poetry-related note…
This weekend, I also received notification that the new anthology of coffee-themed poems from Kind of a Hurricane Press is now available. It is titled Something’s Brewing and contains two of my poems, “Stained” and “Bittersweet Verse.”