Download a one-page pocket schedule here.
Wednesday May 2
9 p.m.-11 p.m. or later . . . at the Vanuatu Kava Bar on Eagle Street
Poetry Open Mic hosted by Caleb Beissert
Thursday May 3
7 p.m. at the Vanuatu Kava Bar on Eagle Street
Poem-ing the 28801
It has been said that if Shel Silverstein and Dorothy Parker had conceived a child, the result would have been Barbie Dockstader Angell. Razor wit and simple rhyming verse combine to create an innovative style. Barbie has named it, “poetry for the common man.” (Although she does have plenty of women readers as well.) Bitter, satirical, humorous and sometimes brutally honest, her portfolio contains everything from rhyme to free verse, children’s and adults as well as short stories. For more.
Ten Cent Poetry
Chelsea LaBate works with Green Opportunities in West Asheville when she is not penning songs and poems. Sample her lyrical work.
Jonathan Santos presents inspiring, elegant poetry and song at events within and beyond Asheville. Here his work here.
Jadwiga moved to Asheville last year and has graced audiences around the city with her poems.
Friday May 4
Noon at 36 Montford Avenue (2nd floor of Chamber of Commerce)
Join Lenoir Rhyne University Graduate Studies Program Director Paul Knott for an informational luncheon about the Masters in Writing Program.
To attend, please RSVP.
5:00-7:00 at Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
A MadHat Reception Honoring Carol Novack
Refreshments provided at this celebration.
7:00 p.m. Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
Voices of the City
Youth poets Jack Rickman and Matthew Kerber of the Asheville-Buncombe County Poetry Slam will each read a poem.
Ekua Adisa is the place where many roads converge; she delights in being found difficult to characterize, and urges people to honor the intersections of identity. A long time organizer, a healing artist and diviner, and a self-proclaimed radical with very queer politics, Ekua uses poetry and other word forms to unveil difficult truths while creating spaces for bridges to be built across lines of separation. For her, the most potent form of soul medicine is the story, and she writes with the hope of using her story to help others on their own healing journeys. Ekua's writing speaks to social, cultural, and environmental issues while remaining vulnerable and honest.
Katherine Soniat's fifth collection of poems,The Swing Girl, is recently out from Louisiana State University Press and a sixth collection, A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge, will be published by Dream Horse Press in fall, 2012. Other publications include The Fire Setters (on-line Chapbook Series, WebDelSol), Alluvial (Bucknell UP). A Shared Life (Iowa UP) won the Iowa Prize and a Virginia Prize for Poetry, selected by Mary Oliver; Cracking Eggs (University Presses of Florida). Notes of Departure received the Camden Poetry Prize (Walt Whitman Center for the Arts and Humanities) and was selected by Sonia Sanchez. A chapbook, Winter Toys, was published by Green Tower Press. For more.
DeWayne Barton has been involved in community improvement and youth development for more than 15 years. DeWayne is co-founder of Asheville Green Opportunities, a job-training program designed to prepare Asheville area youth and adults for “green-collar” careers, and he serves on the board of Clean Water for North Carolina.
Ronald Reginald King
Ronald Reginald King, born and raised in Asheville, is a retired Battalion Chief from the City of Asheville Fire/Rescue Department. Along with being a public servant, a lecturer and a motivational speaker in his community, Ronald is a poet, playwright and novelist. He is the author of the poetry book Inside Out (See Me). See more.
Roberto Hess, spoken word percussionist, has been writing poetry since the age of ten. Growing up in a military family, he has traveled the world and has come in contact with many different cultures and perspectives. Roberto Hess blends soul, poetry, and percussion while performing modern lyrics that merge political and social observations with personal revelations to form his very own original style of "organic hip hop”.
9 p.m. Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
An Evening of Translation
Thomas Rain Crowe
Saturday May 5
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.at Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
The Poets of Press 53
Terri Kirby Erickson, Joseph Mills and Kathryn Kirkpatrick
Press 53 will be selling books following this event.
1-2 p.m. Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
The Carol Novack Memorial Reading
Featuring: Terese Svoboda
Poetry, fiction, memoir—each genre infiltrates the other as boundaries elegantly dissolve in Terese Svoboda's writing. How does she do it? The riches of language lure the reader to the denouement of the prose sentence, with the cadence and sound of poetry stripped bare enough to hear the voice clearly in charge of the story. In poetry, Svoboda walks out to the edge where language is made then her prose mines what is found. Few balance so thoughtfully. Poets quail at the narrative structure of a long work and resort to transparency; prose writers forsake language for character and plot. Svoboda's work presents a unique opportunity for readers to enjoy both in abundance. For more.
Marc Vincenz is Swiss-British and was born in Hong Kong. He currently lives between Iceland, Switzerland and NYC where he works as a poet, translator, editor and journalist. His most recent books of poetry include The Propaganda Factory, or Speaking of Trees (Argotist, 2011) and Pull of the Gravitons (Right Hand Pointing, 2012). His translation of Swiss poet Erika Burkart’s collection, Secret Letter, is forthcoming (Cervena Barva Press, 2013). Recent journal publications include The Bitter Oleander, Guernica, Exquisite Corpse, Spillway, Poetry Salzburg Review, elimae, Inertia and MiPOesias. In 2011, his poetry was nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize. Marc is Editor-in-Chief of Carol Novack's Mad Hatters' Review and MadHat Press.
and Asheville Wordfest Co-Founder and Host of Wordplay on Asheville FM
3 p.m. at Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
“Fixing to Tell About Jack”
A Celebration and Benefit for the Hicks Family
Join us on Saturday, May 5, 2012, at 3 pm The Altamont Theatre in downtown Asheville for “Fixing to Tell About Jack: A Benefit Storytelling Performance for the Hicks Family” featuring storytellers Sheila Kay Adams, Gwenda Ledbetter, Vixi Jil Glen, David Novak, Connie Regan-Blake and special guest teller, Ted Hicks. Admission $12. Donations welcomed. Money raised from this benefit will provide a much needed driveway to make life easier for Ted and Rosa and will go into the ‘Ray and Rosa Hicks Fund’.
5:30-6:30 p.m. Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
The Poets of the Asheville-Buncombe County Schools Poetry Slam
and other youth poets.
7-9 pm. Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
Our Honored Guests
Youth Poets: Liam Kelly Black and Nita Jackson of the WordSlam! will share poems. 12 year old Jordan Scheffer will also share a poem.
Sara Day Evans will perform her song Night Trees at the beginning of the evening.
LeAnne Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, creative non-fiction, plays and scholarship that primarily deal with American Indian and Native American experiences. Her short fiction has appeared in Fiction International, Callaloo, Story, Yalobusha Review, and Cimarron Review, and elsewhere, and has been translated in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. She has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale Writers Residency, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her first novel Shell Shaker (Aunt Lute Books, 2001) received an American Book Award in 2002 from the Before Columbus Foundation. The novel was a finalist for the 2003 Oklahoma Book Award, and awarded Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year, 2002. Equinoxes Rouge, the French translation, was the 2004 finalist for Prix Medici Estranger, one of France’s top literary awards. Evidence of Red (Salt Publishing, UK, 2005) won the Oklahoma Book Award for poetry in 2006, and the Wordcraft Circle Award for 2006. Her most recent novel is Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story (Aunt Lute Books, 2007). For more.
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
Allison Adelle HedgeCoke authored books include: Dog Road Woman and Off-Season City Pipe poetry; Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer, a memoir; and Blood Run, a verse-play. Hedge Coke has edited eight additional collections, including: Sing: Poetry of the Indigenous Americas, Effigies, and the soon to be released Effigies II. She has been awarded fellowships/residencies with Lannan Foundation, Weymouth Center for the Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, Hawthornden Castle, MacDowell Colony, Great Plains Center, and her honors include an American Book Award, two endowed chairs, and several literary and arts grants. She is a poet, writer, performer, editor, and activist. She is of mixed heritage, including: Huron, Metis, Cherokee, Creek, French Canadian, Portuguese, Irish, Scot ... and came of age cropping tobacco and working fields, waters, and working in factories in North Carolina, where she was the first woman to work construction in Raleigh. For more.
Born in New York City in 1950, Arthur Sze is a second-generation Chinese American. Educated at the University of California, Berkeley, Sze is the author of eight books of poetry, including The Ginkgo Light (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), Quipu (2005), The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998 (1998), and Archipelago (1995). Other collections by Sze include River River (1987), Dazzled (1982), Two Ravens (1976; revised, 1984), and The Willow Wind (1972; revised, 1981). He is also a celebrated translator from the Chinese, and released The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese in 2001. About his work, Jackson Mac Low has said, "The word 'compassion' is much overused—'clarity' less so—but Arthur Sze is truly a poet of clarity and compassion." For more.
Matthew Shenoda is a writer and educator whose poems and writings have appeared in a variety of newspapers, journals, radio programs and anthologies. He has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his work has been supported by the California Arts Council and the Lannan Foundation among others. Shenoda's debut collection of poems, Somewhere Else was named one of 2005's debut books of the year by Poets & Writers Magazine and is the winner of the inaugural Hala Maksoud Award for Emerging Voice, granted by RAWI, as well as a 2006 American Book Award. His latest collection is Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone. Shenoda lectures widely and has taught extensively in the fields of ethnic studies and creative writing. Currently he is Assistant Provost for Equity & Diversity and Professor in the School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts. He also serves as Director of Poetry for the Planet at the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational, and Environmental Design in Oakland, CA, where he is developing a curricular initiative that uses poetics as a framework to teach global sustainability issues to urban youth. Additionally, Shenoda serves on the Board of Directors of the Social and Public Art Resource Center and is an Advisory Member of the Board of the International Society of Black Latinos. He lives with his family in Los Angeles. For more.
Lynn McLure will read her haiku and haibun that recently won awards from the Haiku Society of America.
Lynn McLure is a sheep farmer, a visual artist in textiles and book arts, a meditation teacher and lay contemplative. A native of Louisiana, she has lived in Yancey Co. NC, for the past twenty years. She holds an undergraduate degree from Vassar College and a masters degree from the University of TN. She has also studied at the Memphis College of Art and at Penland School of Craft. She “came home” to her first love, poetry, in her sixties after a forty year exile and considers her writing to be an integral part of a contemplative practice. Recently,
Lynn’s poems have appeared in WNC Woman, Frogpond, Pinesongs and The Great Smokies Review. She frequently incorporates her poems into sculptural and textile pieces and has exhibited her work in galleries in WNC including Ariel Gallery, The
Design Gallery, The Penland Gallery and Textures. She is currently working on a collection of haibun-ga combining photographs with haibun, as she observes and muses on the daily process of aging.
10- . . . . at Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
Late Night Open Mic
Bring your spoken word, your poems, your songs, even, and share.
SUNDAY MAY 6
10:30-11:30 a.m. at Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
Children's Poetry and Children's Poems
Bring your children and their poems.
Barbie Angell will host this event.
Noon-1 p.m. at Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
Poems of Spirit
Tracey Schmidt and James Davis of Logosophia Books present their poems of spirit and place.
Michael Ivey on guitar
and Matthew Cox from Shantavaani on tablas and hand drums.
An open mic will provide space for people to share their own spiritual poems.
1:30-2:30 p.m. at Altamont Theater at 18 Church Street
Voices of the City
In addition to poetry, April has written myriad articles about music, parenting, and assorted
less-interesting but better-paying topics. In 2009, she was a guest on Irish radio, discussing
her tongue-in-cheek article “Why Punk Rock is Bad for Kids.” Her particular brand of sarcasm
combined with skewed optimism and humor make her blog a popular destination for people
who enjoy reading about the mundane adventures of a socially awkward pink-haired poet. She
currently writes for several private clients and is working on a second volume of poetry, due out
in Spring 2012. A children’s book co-authored by her 10-year-old daughter is also in the works.
3:00 pm at Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe at corner of Haywood and Walnut Streets
After Poetrio come to the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar.
A final event:
MUSES of TERPSICORPS perform Sunday at 7:30 at Diana Wortham Theater.
If you still want more amazing cultural food, come see these incredible dancers
from the Center Stage School of Dance and Terpsicorps, choreographed and
directed by Heather Maloy. Here's a video of last year's performance.
Mark Doty, Asheville Wordfest 2010
Eliot Wadopian and Keith Flynn
Charles “Pic” Pickens
The Flying Words Project
Nickole Brown, Wordfest 2010