Monday, June 2, 2008

After the Poetry Festival

Poetry Festival: A Celebration of New Jersey's Literary Journals (and Some Neighbors) is over for another year. It far exceeded my expectations. The date was a few weeks later than in the past and The Star-Ledger did not come through with an article for us and the pools had already opened, so I kind of thought maybe the numbers would be down. Wrong! Happily wrong. It was our biggest turnout yet. And that was great as this was our fifth anniversary so I wanted it to be special.

As soon as the doors opened, people started pouring in. The tables displaying the thirteen journals were mobbed. Many journals were sold and lots of submission guidelines and subscription forms were given out. The reading room was packed for all four reading sessions. In fact, extra chairs had to be brought out after the first session. So the 26 poets had a fantastic audience of around 80 to read for (two poems per poet) and lots of applause. Some books were sold; I always wish it were more, but the purpose of the festival is to honor the journals, so any book sales are gravy. More importantly, we had an opportunity to hear new voices and familiar ones. Names and emails were exchanged, and I'm hopeful that lots of good follow-up connections were made.

Here are some photos to give you a sense of the day.

Crowd browsing the journal tables

Jill Hoffman, editor of Mudfish*

Louis Crew reading for Exit 13*

Marion Wrenn, editor of Painted Bride Quarterly*

Teresa Leo reading for Painted Bride Quarterly*

More browsing

Bill Wunder reading for Schuykyll Valley Journal*

Hal Sirowitz reading for Tiferet*

Andrea Lockett reading for New York Quarterly*

Sandy Zulauf, editor of Journal of New Jersey Poets*

Cat Doty and me

More browsing

Photos with an asterisk were taken by Anthony Buccino. More available here.

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