2018 Free Verse Festival

The Free Verse Festival is the City of Charleston, SC’s annual 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. The festival will occur October 17 – 24, 2018. SC Humanities supported this project with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

The Free Verse Festival is the brain child of the 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 “Stanzas & Synthesizers,” “Show and Tell Your Truth: A Student Poetry Show,” “Physical Poetry: SC’s Evening of Dance,” an open mic night, a poetry slam, and much more. Some of the featured poets include P. Scott Cunningham, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Tyquan Morton, Mike Rosen, McKayla Conahan, Libby Bernadin, and Marcus Amaker.  The full list of events is available on the festival website at 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.

Image: Anthony Carter, Poet Laureate of Augusta, GA, during the “Poet Laureate Panel,” also featuring Marcus Amaker, Poet Laureate of Charleston (seated) and Marjory Wentworth, Poet Laureate of South Carolina (seated); photo courtesy of the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs