In my last post I suggested that we could all pitch in and help in a variety of ways to build the audience for poetry. One of my suggestions was that you hold a poetry festival for literary journals. And I mentioned that I've done this for the past four years. That festival includes twelve journals, most from New Jersey but some also from New York and Pennsylvania. I invite the editors and then ask each of them to invite two poets who have appeared in the journal. So we end up with twenty-four poets. The editors set up their tables in the reference area. They provide subscription and submission information and their journals are available for purchase.
In a separate area, the Community Room, readings are held throughout the four-hour event. Each poet reads two poems. Poets who have books put them in the book sale area which is manned by library volunteers. There is also a freebie table where people can place bookmarks, fliers, workshop information, and so on. We get around 250 visitors each year and a goodly number of journals and books are sold. There's no budget for this, so everybody does their thing without an honorarium. For the editors it's an opportunity to get their journals some attention. For the poets it's an opportunity to give back to the journals that have supported their work. Everybody seems to have a good time.
I've been learning how to make movies with iMovie. I don't have a video camera, so I've been making slideshows with photos. Below is one of my early efforts, photos from last year's festival. It's perhaps not the best movie ever made, but it will give you a sense of the festival.
I've noticed some loss of quality results when uploading to Google Video and then downloading into blogger. Any tips? Like don't use pink for titles. I used Google rather than YouTube because the latter only accepts 100MB while Google provides you with a link that allows you to upload larger videos.
So get some popcorn, pull up a chair, and enjoy (just two minutes).