CHESTERTOWN, MD — Washington College and the Kent County Arts Council will present the fourth annual “Kent County Poetry Festival: A Day of Public Poetry in Celebration of National Poetry Month” at the Book Plate, 112 South Cross Street, on Friday, April 8, from 4 to 7 p.m.
People from throughout the county will gather to read aloud their favorite lines from the world of verse—a reminder that poetry, rather than being some rarefied specimen, is in fact a vital, living art with widespread appeal.
The public is welcome to simply drop by during the event to listen. Those who want to share a poem should register in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out one of the festival sign-up sheets posted throughout the county.
“This program is in the spirit of the ‘Favorite Poem Project’ pioneered by Robert Pinsky when he was Poet Laureate of the United States,” said Christopher Ames, Provost and Dean of Washington College. “The goal is to bring together diverse peoples in our community around the poetry people know and love to share and, in doing so, debunk the idea that poetry is just something for academics to study. During National Poetry Month, we want to illustrate the role that poetry can have in enriching our everyday lives.”
The organizer of the festival is Robert Earl Price, a poet and playwright who is lecturer and writer in residence in the Drama Department at Washington College. This year’s featured poet, Mark Nowak, the Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House at the College, will read a brief selection from his works. Nowak’s most recent book is Coal Mountain Elementary and he has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to support the development of his next work. The rest of the program will be devoted to community members reading their favorite poems.
For more information about the Poetry Festival, contact Leslie Prince Raimond at the Kent County Arts Council (email@example.com) or Tom Martin at the Book Plate (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Photo: Poet Mark Nowak, director of the Rose O'Neil Literary House, is the featured poet at this year's festival.