For the past eight years, the Austin International Poetry Festival has grown ... and grown ... and grown to the point that over 260 poets have been invited to participate this year at 27 venues across the city from April 13-16. Passes for the entire festival are $10 and are available at participating venues. Selected events, such as the Cutting Edge Performance Poetry showcases and the AIPF Poetry Slam, are $5 at the door. An entire schedule of events and list of participating venues is available at http://www.hyperweb.com/aipf. The festival's hotline number is 835-5942. Here are some highlights, though:
Opening Ceremony/Party: Thursday, April 13, 5-7pm, at Jazz Louisiana Kitchen (214 E. Sixth). Free and open to the public, the AIPF opening party will include a tribute to C.A. Wiles, the oldest registered poet in this year's festival, and a selected short program of poetry, including a set by performance poet Corey Cokes.
di-verse-city 2000 Anthology Release: Thursday, April 13, 7:30-10:30pm. This is one of those funky simultaneous book readings featuring all the poets in this year's festival anthology giving readings at five bookstores across the city at the same time. Poets will read at Barnes & Noble Guadalupe, B & N Arboretum, BookPeople, and both Borders locations.
Cutting Edge Performance Poetry Showcases: Self-explanatory. They take place on Friday, April 14, from 8-11:30pm at Ruta Maya Coffee House (Fourth and Lavaca) and from 10pm-12:30am at Waterloo Ice House (600 N. Lamar); Saturday, April 15, from 9-11:30pm at Movements Gallery (211 E. Sixth) and Waterloo Ice House (1106 W. 38th).
Latino/Latina Readings: Saturday, April 15, 6-10pm at Casa de Luz (1701 Toomey Road), and 7-9pm at Austin Community College Rio Grande Campus (1212 Rio Grande). Two concurrent festivals, the "Hispanic Voices" showcase at Casa de Luz and the Festival Iberico Americano at ACC, will highlight a large number of Latino/Latina and Spanish poets.
AIPF Slam: Saturday, April 15, 7:30-10pm, Gaby & Mo's (1809 Manor Rd.). Poets from across the United States and England compete for a poet's glory (and cash).
Austin Younger Poets Anthology Awards: On Sunday, April 16, 2-4 pm at Barnes and Noble Westlake, longtime AIPF organizer Frank Pool will highlight the work of young poets throughout the city.
Closing Ceremonies: Sunday, April 16, 5-7pm at the Jones Center for Contemporary Arts (Seventh and Congress). The closing ceremonies will feature the Christina Sergeyevna Awards (named for the former AIPF festival director) to the festival's best poets.
Neil Postman at UT
Critic and intellectual historian Neil Postman, whose most recent book is Building a Bridge to the 18th Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future, is going to tell students of UT's Division of Rhetoric and Composition "Six Things You Ought to Know About Technology," and the Division of Rhetoric and Composition invites the public to attend; it's Wednesday, April 12, at 8pm in the Texas Union Ballroom. Postman is an apt candidate to address writing students -- among his many honors is the 1986 George Orwell Award for clarity in language from the National Council of Teachers of English.