Third Annual Poetry Festival
October 11–12, 2019
The Third Annual Poetry Festival took place in the fall of 2019 at various locations around Fayetteville, including University of Arkansas Center for Diversity and Multicultural Education, Smoke & Barrel Tavern, Nightbird Books, The Nines, Stage 18, and Nomad's Trailside. Poets Hyejung Kook, Diannely Antigua, Zaina Alsous, and Olatunde Osinaike featured, along with local poets Victoria Hudson and Banah Ghadbian. Events included a collaboration with the US–China Poetry Dialogue, which brings some of China's most famous poets to the United States in odd years to create community through dialogue about poetry and place. Poets Chen Zhongyi and Zang Di led a workshop on metaphor and sound for Open Mouth at Nightbird Books.
This program was supported by The University of Arkansas Press, The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies, the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education, and our supporters on Patreon.
September 6–7, 2019
The Harvest Workshop and Reading was a program that took place in September of 2019 in collaboration with Apple Seeds, Inc., a teaching farm based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The workshop was led by poets Ross Gay and Gwendolyn Ann Hill and served students from a local high school as well as a group of community members, who were led in garden-based volunteer activities followed by a generative poetry writing session.
The program also included a public reading, which served as a book launch for Geffrey Davis's second book, Night Angler. Readers were Geffrey Davis, Ross Gay, Gwendolyn Ann Hill, and John Yau.
This program was supported by The Arkansas Arts Council, as well as the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation, and The School of Art at the University of Arkansas, along with private donors and Open Mouth's supporters on Patreon. Nightbird Books, ArtVentures, Apple Seeds, Inc., ALLPS School of Innovation, and the Fayetteville Public Library provided collaborative support and space.
Writers for Migrant Justice
September 4, 2019
Writers for Migrant Justice was a program that took place in September of 2019 in collaboration with TASC–The Station, as part of a national series of protest readings that happened on or around September 4 all over the nation, organized by poets Javier Zamora, Jan-Henry Gray, Anni Liu, and Christopher Soto. This program invited those from and invested in migrant communities to speak out against unjust immigration polices, and served as a fundraiser for a nonprofit working on this issue.
Second Annual Poetry Retreat
May 31–June 2, 2019
The Second Annual Generative Poetry Retreat took place in the summer of 2019 at Mt. Sequoyah Conference Center. Attended by 24 student from all over the nation, the retreat featured generative workshops and sought to build community around poetry in an environment that fosters writing. The program included a public reading by guest faculty Franny Choi and Nate Marshall.
This program was supported by The Arkansas International, the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation, and many students and volunteers.
Second Annual Poetry Festival
October 31–November 2, 2018
The Second Annual Open Mouth Poetry Festival took place in fall of 2018 at various locations around Fayetteville, featuring poets Dorothy Chan, Brody Parrish Craig, Kimberly Ann Southwick, Peter Twal, Sarah Rose Nordgren, Nabila Lovelace, Emma Bolden, and Ashley Roach Freiman, with mini features by local poets Rodney Wilhite and Maximiliano Calabotta and music by Roy Pilgrim.
It was supported by Fenix Gallery, Walton Arts Center, the Nines, Stage 18, the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation, Gerry Sloan, and our supporters on Patreon.
Original broadsides of work each traveling featured poet were designed by local artists Ziba Rajabi, Zachary Meyer, MaKayla Songer, Taylor Lautner, Brandon Weston, and Claire Pincumbe.
Frank Stanford Festival
September 21–23, 2018
The Frank Stanford Literary Festival in collaboration with Typo Magazine took place in September 2018 in various locations around Fayetteville, gathering poets from across the country to participate in readings, conversations, and festivities in honor of the poet Frank Stanford’s creative work and of the artistic community he championed.
The festival intersected with the reemergence of Stanford's work in print, new possibilities for scholarship, and his enduring relevance as an innovative and influential artist, even as it recognized the complicated nature of Stanford's legacy. It also celebrated the work of fellow Arkansas-born poet and Lost Roads co-founder, the late C.D. Wright, the continuing work of Lost Roads Publishers, and the array of poets influenced by Stanford and Wright who continue to work, as Stanford charged, to “reclaim the landscape of American poetry.”
The festival included tribute readings, readings by active poets, panels and conversations, film screenings, special guests, and a marathon reading of Stanford and Wright’s work.
First Annual Poetry Retreat
May 31–June 2, 2018
The First Annual Generative Poetry Retreat took place in the summer of 2018at Mt. Sequoyah Conference Center. Attended by 24 student from all over the nation, the retreat featured generative workshops and sought to build community around poetry in an environment that fosters writing. The program included a public reading by guest faculty Hanif Abdurraqib and Eloisa Amezcua.
This program was supported by The Arkansas International, the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation, our Patreon Supporters, and many students and volunteers.
First Annual Poetry Festival
October 29–November 2, 2017
The First Annual Poetry Festival took place in the fall of 2017 at multiple venues around Fayetteville, featuring poets Seth Pennington, Bryan Borland, Ashley M. Jones, Janine Joseph, Caitlin Scarano, and Ashley Roach Freiman, with a mini features by local poets C. Violet Eaton, Sara Nicholson, Emmett Buckley, and Cody-Rose Clevidence, a Halloween poetry slam showcase emceed by Michelle Miesse and featuring Peter Mason, Kai Coggin, and Noelia Cerna. There were also short performances by participants in the Latinx Youth Theatre Project.
It was supported by ArtVentures NWA, Arsaga's at The Depot, the Nines, C. Violet Eaton, Sibling Rivalry Press, and Stage 18.
March 13–14, 2017
The Conversation reading and workshop took place in the Spring of 2017, featuring a reading and workshop with Conversation literary fellows Nabila Lovelace, Aziza Barnes, Jeremy Michael Clark, and A. H. Jerriod Avant. The Conversation sought to investigate: what would a Black Mecca look like? Can it exist in the United States? After generations following the Great Migration, can a Black Mecca truly exist in the North? In the South? What does it mean to set up an autonomous space on the page as a Black writer? The Conversation investigated these questions through a dynamic evening of poetry readings and talks, as if from a front porch, for their ease and imagination shared between kin.
It was supported by the University of Arkansas’ Office of Diversity, Multicultural Center, Honors College, Creative Writing Program, and Graduate Students in English Congress, as well as The Nines and Nightbird Books.