Last year for National Poetry Month, Ancient City Poets launched the St. Augustine PoetFest, with the help of Flagler College, and the St. Johns Cultural Council.
The inaugural was a challenge, and we relied on the volunteer talents of poets and poetry lovers in the area, in the state, and anyone willing to travel. January to April on 2021 was tricky with surges of Covid-19 variants, so getting commitments from people took a lot of work. The Festival Chair was constantly swapping out presenters and seminar topics. All in all, we pulled it off, and we are excited about our 2023 festival. The plan is to get performance commitments from poets in Duval County, Alachua County, and Volusia County, as well as a national touring keynote performer.
During the last few years, there has been a void in St. Johns County for literary celebrations, and we are working hard to bring events to Northeast Florida.
JANUARY 2023 UPDATE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2023 Festival Chair: Chris Bodor, President (904) 501.0043
Ancient City Poets chapter of the Florida State Poets Association
Second Annual Poetry Festival Planned for April 14-16 During National Poetry Month
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – “Beat Poetry: Florida and Beyond” will be the theme of the 2nd Annual St. Augustine PoetFest scheduled for April 15, 2023. A kickoff open mic will be held the night before on April 14th at 7 pm. Jack Kerouac, a pioneer of the Beat Generation, was living in College Park when he found out that his novel “On the Road” had become a bestseller. A decade later, in 1969, Kerouac died in a St. Petersburg hospital, located in the same city where he owned a home. At press time, Lucas County Poet Laureate Jonie McIntire (Toledo, Ohio) will attend the St. Augustine PoetFest, where she will present a seminar titled “The Feminine Voice”, with Jacksonville author Jennifer Wolfe.
Not only did Jonie McIntire act in Toledo, Ohio, for nearly ten years in an annual reader’s theater presentation of “Back to Jack”, written completely from the words and works of Jack Kerouac, but she is not afraid to hit the road to connect the Midwest to the East Coast. “I believe, like Jack did, that the road must eventually lead to the whole world,” said McIntire, about traveling to St. Augustine in April.
Saturday’s day-long festival on the campus of Flagler College will begin at 8:00 am with a guided meditation walk at the CEAM labyrinth to get everyone in the “write mood”.
Activities Will Include:
- 9 am to 3 pm – Book signing table.
- Noon until 5 pm – Zine Zone tabling event with fanzine making workshop (small charge for materials).
- 10 am to 3 pm – Open Mic Marathon, author talks, seminars, and panel discussions.
- 3:30 pm to 4 pm – Short Poetry Spotlight Presentation featuring winners of the 3rd Annual St. Johns Cultural Council Haiku Contest
- 4 pm to 5 pm – Out of State Spotlight: New York Poet George Wallace
- 5 pm to 6 pm – Beat Poet Summit: facilitated by US Beat Poet Laureate John Burroughs
- 6 pm to 6:30 pm – Out of State Spotlight: Georgia Poet Jimmy Broccoli
- 7 pm to 9 pm – Keynote Presentation followed by meet and greet and book signing.
The weekend will also include three “PoetFest at Night” ticketed performances produced by Puddled Bookings and held off campus. A fanzine making workshop will be offered on campus on Saturday for a small fee. The rest of the weekend will be free of charge and open to all thanks to the support of Flagler College, St. Johns Cultural Council, and the Ancient City Poets, The St. Augustine PoetFest is a celebration of creative writing and reciting. It is St. Johns County’s official recognition of National Poetry Month (April).