Open Mouth Poetry Festival

October 31–November 3, 2018 | Multiple Venues


Join us for the second annual Open Mouth Poetry Festival, a multi-venue celebration of poetry by local and visiting writers. This year's events will feature workshops as well as readings.

October 31:

Emma Bolden & Ashley Roach-Freiman

6:00-8:00 PM @ Fayetteville Public Library


November 1:

Dorothy Chan & Brody Parrish Craig

9:00-10:00 PM @ Walton Arts Center

following Kealoha's performance of The Story of Everything


November 2:

Kimberly Ann Southwick

5:00-7:00 PM @ Fenix Gallery

Peter Twal

7:00-9:00 PM @ Stage 18


November 3:

Workshop with Nabila Lovelace

3:00-4:00 PM @  Fayetteville Public Library

Nabila Lovelace & Sarah Rose Nordgren

7:00-9:00 PM @ The Nines

Many thanks to the Fayetteville A&P Commission, the Walton Arts Center, the University of Arkansas Press, and the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas for supporting this year's programming

Dorothy Chan

November 1 | Walton Arts Center  | 9 PM

Dorothy Chan Author Photo

Dorothy Chan is the author of Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (Spork Press, 2018) and the chapbook Chinatown Sonnets (New Delta Review, 2017). She was a 2014 finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, The Common, Diode Poetry Journal, Quarterly West, Blackbird, and elsewhere. Chan is the Editor of The Southeast Review. Visit her website at

Originally from Louisiana, Brody Parrish Craig attended Hollins University where they received their B.A. in English & French. They recently completed their M.F.A. in Poetry at University of Arkansas where they began writing their first manuscript, a collection of hybrid poems inspired by queer phenomenology, the Bible Belt, & recovery.

Their work has appeared in EOAGH, Rattle Poets Respond & TYPO, among others. Brody Parrish is a member of InTRANSitive & received an Artists 360 Practicing Artist grant for TWANG, a regional TGNC storytelling project.

Photo of Brody Parrish Craig by Kat Wilson

Brody Parrish Craig

November 1 | Walton Arts Center  | 9 PM

This performance was organized by Walton Arts Center. Open Mouth has joined as a partner.
Festival Extra: Kealoha
The Story of Everything

November 1 | Walton Arts Center  | 7 PM

The Story of Everything is an epic poem that dramatizes explanations for human origin, drawing from sources as diverse as the Big Bang theory, disco, Michael Jackson and the Kumulipo—an 18th-century Hawaiian creation story.


Kealoha’s multi-media slam poetry performance explores how science and culture can be used to approach universal questions that have challenged humans from the very beginning—where we come from, and where we go from here.


Presented by Walton Arts Center as part of their 10 x 10 Series.


Kimberly Ann Southwick is an Aries with a Capricorn Moon & Ascendant. She is the founder and editor in chief of the literary arts journal GIGANTIC SEQUINS, which has been in print since 2009. Her most recent poetry chapbook is EFS & VEES from Hyacinth Girl Press. She is a PhD candidate in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Poems of hers have been a finalist for the 2016 Yemassee Poetry Prize and a semi-finalist for the Beecher's Magazine 2016 Poetry Prize. In May 2017, she starred in Revision, a production by the Milena Theater Group. She currently lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana with her husband and their dog, Jasper. Find out more at or by following her on twitter @kimannjosouth.

Kimberly Ann Southwick

November 2 | Fenix Gallery | 5 PM

Kimberly Ann Southwick author photo
Peter Twal author photo

Peter Twal

November 2 | Stage 18  | 7 PM

Presented in partnership with the University of Arkansas Press and the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies

Peter Twal is the author of Our Earliest Tattoos, winner of the 2018 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize (University of Arkansas Press, 2018). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, Best New Poets, Kenyon Review, West Branch, and elsewhere.

This reading made possible by the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas.

with Mohja Kahf
Mohja Kahf at Books in Bloom Festival

Mohja Kahf is thrilled that The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, her novel, was 2017's One Book at Indiana University East, and will be read by 450 high school students in Michigan this academic year. “But where’s my movie offer?” A professor of comparative literature and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Arkansas since 1995, Kahf is the author of two poetry books: E-mails from Scheherazad and Hagar Poems. Her essay "I Cannot Go to Syria" appeared in Apogee Journal this year, and a poem "Here It Is" will appear in the Summer 2019 issue of The Oxford American.

and Kaveh Bassiri
Photo of Kaveh Bassiri

Kaveh Bassiri is an Iranian-American writer and translator. His poetry has won the Bellingham Review's 49th Parallel Award and been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, and Best New Poets. His translations have received the 2019 NEA Translation Fellowship and Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Residency. They have been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Guernica, Colorado Review, and The Massachusetts Review.

Nabila Lovelace author photo

Nabila Lovelace

November 3 | Fayetteville Library | 3 PM | Workshop


November 3 | The Nines | 7 PM | Reading

Nabila Lovelace is a first-generation Queens native, her people hail from Trinidad & Nigeria. Sons of Achilles, her debut book of poems, is available from YesYes Books. You can currently find her kicking it in Tuscaloosa.


In collaboration with the Fayetteville public library and the True Lit Festival Nabila will offer a workshop, "Give Me Liberty or At Least My Own Tongue" on Saturday, November 3 from 3–4 p.m. Register here.


Sarah Rose Nordgren is the author of Best Bones (2014), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and Darwin’s Mother (2017), both from University of Pittsburgh Press. Among her awards are fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. Her poems and essays appear widely in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, and American Poetry Review, and she creates intergenre video and text art in collaboration with Kathleen Kelley under the name Smart Snow. Nordgren is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati and an Associate Editor at 32 Poems. 

Sarah Rose Nordgren

November 3 | The Nines  | 7 PM

Plus a pre-festival feature in collaboration with FPL's True Lit Fest!

Ashley Roach-Freiman

October 31 | Fayetteville Public Library | 6 PM

Ashley Roach-Freiman is a librarian and poet with work appearing or forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, THRUSH Poetry Journal, The Literary Review, Ghost Proposal, and Nightjar Review. A chapbook, Bright Along the Body, is available from dancing girl press. She is a writer in residence at Crosstown Arts, where she is working on a full-length collection. Find out more at   

Emma Bolden

October 31| Fayetteville Public Library  | 6 PM

Emma Bolden is the author of three full-length collections of poetry -- House Is An Enigma (forthcoming from Southeast Missouri State University Press), medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013) – and four chapbooks. The recipient of a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship from the NEA, her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best Small Fictions, and such journals as the Mississippi Review, The Rumpus, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, New Madrid, TriQuarterly, the Indiana Review, Shenandoah, the Greensboro Review, and The Journal. She currently serves as Associate Editor-in-Chief for Tupelo Quarterly. Visit her online at