Free Verse Festival

The Free Verse Festival is the City of Charleston, SC’s first poetry festival. The mission is to uplift the community by providing eclectic poetry events and workshops at multiple venues in Downtown Charleston and West Ashley. Events will take place throughout the month of October 2017. SC Humanities supported this project with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

The Free Verse Festival is the brain child of the newly-appointed Poet Laureate of Charleston, Marcus Amaker. He said wrote in the announcement letter, “Poetry changes people. Everyone walks away with a deeper sense of presence after seeing a poetry performance.”

There will be a variety of events, including poetry readings, youth workshops, and open mics. Featured poets include South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, Emma Bolden, Kimberly Simms, Horace Mungin, Marcus Amaker, and many more. Several times throughout October, there will be “Typewriter Poetry” sessions featuring Matt Foley and Derek Berry of The Unspoken Word. They will be on hand with typewriters to write an original poem for whoever wants one. The full list of events is available on the festival website at

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 21-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.