POET FEST 757

We are so excited to bring you another year of fun poetry festivities carefully crafted
by the official Poet Fest Committee! (Pardon the rhyme! LOL)

Below you will find event descriptions and the schedule. Click on either section to read more!

We are also excited to announce that our festival has expanded to 3 days!

Please reach out to poetfest757@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to seeing you on April 26th through the 28th!

(Graphics coming soon!)

  • 6pm: Doors Open
  • 7pm: Keynote Speaker: TBA
  • 8pm: Freshman Class:
    The Venue on 35th has always prided itself on providing new artists with a platform to hone their crafts and grow as artists. Over the years we’ve seen countless aspiring creatives come through the doors of our little red building. For the 2nd Annual Freshman Class at Poet Fest, we’re celebrating just a few of the artists that have joined us recently as well as poets who have recently published a first book. Come hear some of the area’s most talented members of the Venue’s Freshman Class of poets.Feature Presenters to include: TBA
  • 10am: Doors Open
  • 11am: Formidable Forms Workshop with Teech
    It is every poet’s responsibility to challenge themselves and always seek to exercise their creativity. One surefire way to do this is through form poetry. In Formidable Forms, The Editor in Chief of Wider Perspectives Publishing, J. Scott Wilson, teaches us how to write some of poetry’s most challenging form poems.
  • 12pm: How to Write a Group Piece Workshop with Steph Love and Maddie G
    Group Poems involve two or more poets and are a fantastic way for poets to collaborate. While they can often look intimidating and are challenging to execute, the result is always powerful. With the right tools and help from Nationally Ranked Steph Love and Maddie G of The Verb Benders, you can learn how to develop and perform a successful and impactful group poem.
  • 1pm: Preparing a Feature Presentation Workshop with Jorge Mendez
    Deciding which poems to pick, the order, and preparing for a feature poetry presentation can be daunting. Not to mention figuring out what to wear! Jorge Mendez, coach of the Nationally Ranked Verb Benders, takes you through all the steps of putting together a thoughtful and powerful feature performance.
  • 2pm: Mid-Day Mic N Mingle
    We’re opening our mic to anyone who would like to share a poem. This will be a self-governed open mic. Participants can simply walk right up and start sharing poems while artists and community mingle and get to know each other. This is a great opportunity to meet local poets and community leaders and make connections.
  • 3pm: Poetry Olympics Hosted by Maddie G.
    Not a poet? No sweat! Maddie’s got you covered! Poetry Olympics is back for those Poet Fest attendees that aren’t poetically inclined. Participants will compete in a series of backyard minute-to-win-it style games for a poetry prize pack.
    *Sign Ups are first come first serve and begin an hour before the event. LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE. See a Poet Fest Staff member to register.
  • 5pm: Improv Tanka Slam Hosted by Jorge Mendez
    A tanka is a free verse, 31-syllable poem originating in Japan. Japanese poets historically wrote these in one unbroken line, but now when poets write tanka in English, they utilize five lines, like a cinquain with syllable counts 5/7/5/7/7. Competitors can sign up to compete in a 3-round slam where they must write Tankas based on a prompt to immediately compete with.
    Winner receives a Poet Fest 757 Trophy!
    *Sign Ups are first come first serve and begin an hour before the event. LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE. See a Poet Fest Staff member to register.
  • 7pm: Editing Workshop with Teech
    Not editing your poems before publishing is like swallowing without chewing; it’s a good way to choke! Editor in Chief of Wider Perspectives Publishing, J. Scott Wilson, walks us through editing techniques from line-breaks to word selection. We suggest bringing a poem that is incomplete and unedited to work on during the workshop.
  • 8pm: Taz: One Woman, One Mic
    Taz Weysweete’ is a force in The Hampton Roads community. Her contributions to the artform range from audio and video recordings such as her album Inside, to several published books of her gorgeously biting and often beautifully painful but brutally genuine writing including Blackberry Domino and Bite. Her activity in the community goes back over a decade and includes her legendary local artist showcase, Witch’s Brew. She has been both a mentor and an inspiration to countless artists of every genre, an absolute living movement, and a benchmark to strive to reach.
    Poet Fest is honored, humbled, and immensely fortunate to celebrate Taz as this year’s main event. One Woman, One Mic is a spotlight for one of Hampton Roads’ most prolific poets. Come experience her love and her light. One night only!
  • 11am: Doors Open
  • Noon: Crafted Poems Workshop with The Poet Fest Committee
    Who says poems have to be just ink and paper? Crafted Poems are poems made from media atypical to poetry such as magazine clippings, stickers, or anything else that sparks your creativity. The Poet Fest Committee leads us through several different types of crafted poems such as Magnet Poetry, Black-Out Poetry, and Ransom Poetry. Come blend poetry with arts and crafts then stick around for the Crafted Poems Open Mic.
  • 1pm Crafted Poems Open Mic
    We’re opening up our mic to anyone who would like to share a crafted poem. This will be a self-governed open mic. Participants can simply walk right up and start sharing poems while artists and community mingle and get to know each other. This is a great opportunity to meet local poets and community leaders and make connections.
  • 2pm: Mother Goose Slam w/ Kid Judges Hosted by Steph Love
    Are you competitive but not necessarily a poet? New to Poet Fest this year is our Mother Goose Slam! Competitors will recite (not sing) the lyrics to any nursery rhyme head-to-head against another participant. Cut-throat elimination! Winner advances, loser is out. The nursery rhyme must be performed without music, without melody, without singing or rapping it. It must be performed like it was a poem. Kid Judges will vote to see who advances. Competitors are playing for a poetry prize pack.
    *Sign Ups are first come first serve and begin an hour before the event. ONLY 8 SPOTS AVAILABLE. See a Poet Fest Staff member to register.
  • 3pm: Poetry Olympics Hosted by Maddie G
    Not a poet? No Sweat! Maddie’s got you covered! Poetry Olympics is back for those Poet Fest attendees that aren’t poetically inclined. Participants will compete in a series of backyard minute-to-win-it style games for a poetry prize pack.
    *Sign Ups are first come first serve and begin an hour before the event. LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE. See a Poet Fest Staff member to register.
  • 5pm: Poetry Trivia Hosted by Jorge Mendez
    How well do you know the craft? Are you a poetry expert? Test your poetry knowledge in Poet Fest’s first Poetry Trivia Challenge.
    Winner receives a Poet Fest 757 Trophy!
    *Sign Ups are first come first serve and begin an hour before the event. LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE. See a Poet Fest Staff member to register.
  • 630pm: Perspectives
    Closing out the festivities at this year’s Poet Fest is a show called Perspectives. The Hampton Roads poetry community is as diverse as it is talented. With this diversity comes a wide array of perspectives that are reflected in our poetry. We have gathered some of the community’s most talented writers all onto one stage for a presentation of poetry that is sure to be beautiful, emotional, and inspiring.
    Feature Presenters to include: TBA