2008 Austin International Poetry Festival Preview

Texas poet laureate Steven Fromholz
Texas poet laureate Steven Fromholz (Photo by George Brainard)

Not sure yet how to celebrate National Poetry Month? Why not sample the many and varied options the 2008 Austin International Poetry Festival has to offer? The fest – the largest nonjuried poetry festival in the world – kicks off Thursday, April 10, and runs through the weekend. Morning workshops are reserved for registrants only (the late registration fee is $50), but there's gads more to hear, see, and do. You can check out the full schedule online at www.aipf.org/festival/schedule.php. Below, our best bets.


Noon: Poetry With Music (Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Eighth)

The title says it all, but we'll spice it up a bit – instruments on hand include the flute and didgeridoo. Poet, pianist, and AIPF board member Barbara Youngblood Carr hosts.

1-3pm: Austin Poetry Pioneers (12th Street Books, 827 W. 12th)

Browse the stacks at this favorite Austin bookshop in between readings from local poets Herman Nelson, John Berry, Patricia Fiske, Peggy Zuleika Lynch, and the Chronicle's own Ric Williams.


4-6pm: Happy hour (Ruta Maya, 3601 S. Congress)
12mid-7am: Open Mic, Up All Night: Midnight to Dawn Instant Anthology (Magnolia Cafe, 1920 S. Congress)

Chip Ross, Thom the World Poet, and T. Keyser host an all-night poetry read, along with guests Dub Poets (from Jamaica) and Stefanie Petrik and Bob Mud (from Australia). You're encouraged to bring 50 copies of your poem, which will then be collated into an instant anthology. All participating poets will take home a copy.


2-4pm: Youth Slam Presentation (Ruta Maya)
3-4:30pm: Trials and Tribulations of Independent Publishing (Follett's Intellectual Property, 2402 Guadalupe)

Panel includes Dave Oliphant and Anne McCrady.

8-11pm: The Big Read (Ruta Maya)

Readings from Afaa Weaver, Cyrus Cassells, Texas poet laureate Steven Fromholz, and more.


11am: Adios, Open Mic, and Muffins (Ruta Maya)

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