2016 New York City Poetry Festival on Governors Island
Lovers of language gathered this weekend to indulge in two days of well-crafted words at the 2016 New York City Poetry Festival. The sixth annual festival was held, as it is every year, on the fairly challenging venue of Governors Island.
Poets sailing to Governors Island
Perhaps poets are not the most practical people, but the rigors of finding and boarding a little used ferry proved too much for some. The Governors Island ferry docks at "Slip 7" which is directly to the left of the much larger and far more noticeable Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Alas - a group of wordsmiths from Luna Luna missed the boat both literally and figuratively. However, the show did go on as a few last minute replacements stalwartly took the spot.
Quoth the Raven - let there be Spoken Word
With a knowing nod to Edgar Allen Poe, ravens adorned all the Poetry Festival signage and even appeared at the entrance to the event grounds. There were three main stages on the grassy lawn where 250 poets from a vast array of literary magazines, imprints, and writing programs kept the stanzas coming from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Saturday July 30 and Sunday July 31.
Interactive poetry programming got everyone involved
The New York City Poetry festival attracted an assortment of Bohemian-looking attendees who didn't just want to listen - they wanted to create, too. At Parapluie ou Parasol? attendees painted a single word on an umbrella and then placed it in alongside other text-enhanced umbrellas to add to a growing poem. The Typewriter Project: The Subconsciousness of the City, 2016 gave folks the tactile and audible satisfaction of CLACK-CLACKING some prose using an old Smith Corona Sterling typewriter. The high-tech innovation was that the group writing project was being captured electronically presumably for posterity.
New York City's poets are appreciated here
In all, the New York City Poetry Festival was a relaxing event where the words - not any individuals - were the stars. It's said writing is a lonely profession, so this was something of a unique situation: a weekend when the city's poets could hang out en mass, listening to each other's works, appreciating each other and feeling appreciated, too.