2019 Free Verse Festival

The 2019 Free Verse Festival will be the third annual offering of this innovative and eclectic all-poetry literary festival. A wide variety of events will take place October 13 – 20, 2019 at venues in downtown Charleston and West Ashley. SC Humanities supported this program with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

The three focus areas for the Free Verse Festival are poetry as public art, workshops and events for students and educators, and poetry at night. Some planned programs include a “Poetry and Pancakes” breakfast where you get a custom poem when you order a pancake; “Poetry and Jazz”; poetry displayed on napkins, buildings, and sidewalks; a youth poetry slam, and “Typewriter Poetry” stops.

Poet Jericho Brown will kick off the festival with a free performance on Sunday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m. at City Gallery at Waterfront Park. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He will also visit Burke High School to lead poetry workshops.

Headliner Andrea Gibson will appear at the Charleston Music Hall on Friday, October 18 at 8:00 p.m. Winner of the first ever Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2008, Gibson remains one of the most captivating performers in the spoken word poetry scene today. Andrea is touring in support of their new book, “Lord of the Butterflies,” printed by Button Poetry.

For more information about the 2019 Free Verse Festival, please visit the website at https://www.freeversefestival.com/.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.