Inaugural NH Poetry Fest set for Sept. 19 in Manchester

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Charles Simic
Charles Simic

MANCHESTER, NH — The Granite State will celebrate its strong poetry tradition with the inaugural New Hampshire Poetry Festival in Manchester, Sept. 19 at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

The event is organized by two leading literary entities, The Poetry Society of New Hampshire and The New Hampshire Institute of Art. All are welcome.

“With a thriving poetry community in New Hampshire and surrounding areas, we thought the time was right for this type of event in the state, celebrating the reading and writing of poetry,” said Don Kimball, president of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire.

Under the direction of Jennifer Militello, the conference features readings, panels, and workshops by some of the country’s best-known poets and scholars. Highlights include:

  • Headliner reading by former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Simic.
  • Workshops by award-winning poets Ravi Shankar, Tim Liardet, Jeff Friedman and NH Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel.
  • Readings from diverse poets from around New England and the world.
  • Panel discussions on topics including mindful writing, translation, Ekphrastics, Robert Frost, poetry generation despite a busy day job and more.
  • A participant reading at The Shaskeen Pub caps off the day’s event.

Poetry has always been an essential part of New Hampshire’s rich literary culture. Five U.S. Poets Laureate hail from the state, and each year poets from across the state win awards, publish books, teach workshops, give readings, and share poetry with students of all ages.

The NH Poetry Fest brings together a broad community including poets winning prestigious awards including the Pulitzer and Pushcart Prizes; Guggenheim, MacDowell Colony, Cave Canem and National Endowment of the Arts Fellows; heads of literary organizations; professors; well-known editors, and students of poetry at multiple levels.

Gibson’s Bookstore of Concord will sell speakers’ books onsite. Participants also have the opportunity to talk with exhibiting publishers and educators including Hobblebush Books, Tupelo Press, Zephyr Press, New Hampshire Institute of Art, The Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College and New England College MFA Creative Writing Program.

For more information or to register, please visit find them on Facebook at NH Poetry Fest and follow them on Twitter @NHPoetryFest).

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About Carol Robidoux 5821 Articles
Journalist and editor of, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.