The Free Verse Festival is the City of Charleston, SC’s first poetry festival. Our mission is to uplift the community by providing eclectic poetry events and workshops at multiple venues in Downtown and West Ashley. We’ll collaborate with the Charleston County School District to put poets in schools and promote the power of the written word. We’ll also treat poetry as public art, putting poems on sidewalks, napkins, t-shirts, billboards, buses and more.

The mission

The Free Verse Festival is the City of Charleston, SC’s first poetry festival. Our mission is to uplift the community by providing eclectic poetry events and workshops at multiple venues in Downtown and West Ashley. We’ll collaborate with the Charleston County School District to put poets in schools to promote the power of the written word. We’ll also treat poetry as public art, putting poems on sidewalks, napkins, t-shirts, billboards, buses and more.

The festival

The Free Verse Festival consists of three parts.

Part I. Poetry as public art.

Locals will see poetry on napkins, bicycles, buildings, art galleries, restaurants, billboards, t-shirts, sidewalks and more. All of the poems used will be written by local elementary students.

Part 2. Workshops and events for students.

* School workshops by local poets. If you are a teacher and would like us in your school, please email hello@freeversefestival.com

* Youth poetry workshop. Every Saturday, 1pm at John L. Dart Library. Call (843) 722-7550 to register. Space is limited.

* Sept. 29: Youth poetry slam

* Oct. 12: Writing workshop for students.

* Oct. 13: Open mic poetry for students

Part 3. Poetry at night.

An eclectic mix of events will happen during the festival at many venues. Some examples? Poetry and hip-hop, poetry and jazz, readings by the Poetry Society of South Carolina and even poetry and pancakes. See the events here.

The local poet army

Damarius Allen
Derek Berry
Danielle DeTiberus
Matthew Foley
Ethan Fugate
Matt Hampton

Mary Harris
Queen Christine
Melanee Molette
TyQuan Morton
McKayla Watkins
Marjory Wentworth

The origin

The Free Verse Festival is the brainchild of Marcus Amaker, Charleston’s first poet laureate.

The hashtags

#freeversefestival
#freeversefest

Partners


These programs are funded by SC Humanities; inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with literature, history, culture and heritage. Visit our Web site, www.schumanities.org.