Poetry festivals can grow your love for your craft by helping you make new connections, expand your reading list, explore different poetic forms, and more. From Chicago to New York City and beyond, several cities are hosting poetry fests this summer and throughout 2022. Here are a few to add to your calendar.
Fine Arts Work Center Summer Workshop Festival in Provincetown, MA
Dates: July 24–29 (part one) and July 31–August 5 (part two)
More than 10,000 people attend the open community events at the Fine Arts Work Center each year. The two-part Summer Workshop Festival represents the height of this immersive programming. Part one of the workshop includes talks from Vievee Francis, Traci Brimhall, Chen Chen, and more, with topics ranging from ecopoetry to the role of research in poetry. Part two will feature Terrence Hayes, Tina Chang, Eileen Myles, and other writers, who will discuss love poems, the revision process, and more.
Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chicago’s South Loop
Dates: September 10–11
Located on the stretch of South Dearborn St. between Ida B. Wells and Polk—in Chicago’s eclectic Printer’s Row neighborhood—Printer’s Row Lit Fest is the biggest free literary event in the Midwest. For its 37th year, Printer’s Row Lit Fest will welcome a wide array of local writers as guest speakers, including Pulitzer Prize award winner Natasha Trethewey. Fans of any genre will enjoy the weekend: In addition to poetry, expect poetry and workshops in fiction, non-fiction, biography, and children’s and young adult writing. Attendees who want to give back to the literary community can also volunteer at the festival.
New York City Poetry Festival on Governors Island
Dates: September 10–11
Founded in 2011, the New York City Poetry Festival has now become a dynamic annual event. The festival incorporates both adult and youth programming, as well as showcases small presses, art galleries, and local performers. There’s also an open mic for poets who want to test out new poems or develop their spoken word skills.
Dodge Poetry Festival in Morristown, New Jersey
Dates: October 20–23
This Newark-area poetry festival, which began in 1986, will welcome some of the most beloved voices in the genre, including Kim Addonizio, Natalie Diaz, Sandra Cisneros, Sharon Olds, and Tracy K. Smith. This year’s programming has a special focus on the intersections between poetry and disability justice.
Not finding a poetry fest near you? Read our guide on how to form your own writing workshop to find community.