First Things

Something Poetic

Festival features acclaimed poets
Danez Smith

With a theme of “From the Wreckage,” this year's Kalamazoo Poetry Festival aims to examine what’s next for the community and the world through poetry.

The festival, set for April 16-17, will be online, with livestreamed workshops, readings and craft talks. The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. April 16 with its Celebration of Community Poets, emceed by Ed Genesis and featuring poets from across the community, including The Diatribe and Gabriel Giron of Kinetic Affect. An open-mic event will begin at 8 p.m. via Zoom.

On April 17, nationally acclaimed poets Patricia Smith and Danez Smith will present a livestreamed craft talk at 2 p.m. Patricia Smith is an award-winning author of eight critically acclaimed books of poetry and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her book Incendiary Art (2017). Danez Smith was a National Book Award finalist for Don’t Call Us Dead (2017). Workshops will also be offered that day.

The festival, being held during National Poetry Month, is free. To register or for more information, visit