Smart Bets: Wordfest

“April is the cruelest month for poetry,” Charles Berstein wrote in his essay/polemic, “Against National Poetry Month As Such.” “National Poetry Month is about making poetry safe for readers by promoting examples of the art form at its most bland and its most morally ‘positive.’” Asheville Wordfest, started in 2007 by Laura Hope-Gill, was not founded as counter-programming for National Poetry Month, but the event’s character does relieve Bernstein’s discomfort with limiting the acts of poetry — words, speech — to a kind of long holiday, an art form within quote marks. Wordfest recognizes the vitality and value of poetry (and prose and performance), no matter what month it is. This year’s participants include Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Cornelius Eady, John Lane, Keith Flynn, Evie Shockley (pictured) and N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti. Asheville Wordfest, May 3-4 at Lenoir-Rhyne University Center for Graduate Studies, 36 Montford Ave. See for programs and more info. Jaye Bartell


Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.