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 6, 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.
Sign-up sheets for festival participation have been posted at various locations throughout the county, and advance sign-up is requested; persons interested in participating also may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to become part of the readers' roster.
“This program is in the spirit of the ‘Favorite Poem Project’ pioneered by Robert Pinsky when he was Poet Laureate of the United States,” explains Christopher Ames, Professor of English at 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.”
Anyone is welcome to stop by just to listen during First Friday festivities in downtown Chestertown, or to register in advance and participate by reading a favorite poem.
Robert Earl Price, lecturer and writer in residence in the Drama Department at Washington College, is the organizer of the project. Price is an accomplished poet and playwright whose most recent book of poems is Wise Blood, published by Snake Nation Press.
Photo: Festival organizer Robert Earl Price is a poet and playwright who lectures in the Washington College Drama Department.